Apple retail chief John Browett previews third retail store in Beijing ahead of weekend opening

We told you a couple weeks back that Apple plans to open its third retail store in Beijing on Oct. 20. The new Wangfujing Street store will open at 9 a.m., but Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail John Browett today gave press in Beijing a preview of the three-story location that happens to be Apple’s biggest retail store in Asia. Browett also confirmed Apple will open another store in Shenzhen.

Below, we get some shots of the new store’s 360-degree Genius Bars, three-story glass staircase, and more (courtesy of M.I.C Gadget): Read more

Apple’s next huge data center will be in Hong Kong, groundbreaking Q1 2013


Map of Hong Kong post handover

We’ve received word that Apple is building another enormous data center—this time in Hong Kong SAR, China.

Apple recently finalized a location in the New Territories region of Hong Kong near the Shenzhen China border for the data center. We spoke to a bidding contractor employee who, on the condition of anonymity, told us the planned data center’s scale is unprecedented for his business: “There is simply nothing to compare it to and therefore it is hard to make estimates on size based on the materials required.” We were told that construction is to begin in Q1 2013, and it will likely take over a year for operations to start in the data center. The aim is to have it operational by 2015, which is the same time that Apple’s Spaceship Campus 2 is scheduled to go online.

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As Apple event approaches, new iPhone fakes, mockups, and hoaxes become more elaborate

With the September 12th Apple event approaching, anticipation for a redesigned iPhone is heating up. Besides the legitimate information leaking over the course of the past months, there has been fake information, mockups and hoaxes about the device floating around. Over the past few days, the increasing anticipation and speculation for the new iPhone has led to a new level of mockups and hoaxes.

GSMIsrael, this weekend, claimed a world exclusive iPhone 5 hands-0n. Though, their hands were actually on a plasticky mockup built by a case maker.

It gets much worse…

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Bloomberg: iPad 3 production starts for March launch, packs Retina Display, LTE, quad-core chip

Bloomberg reported that the iPad 3 entered production and is tracking a March launch. The report also claimed the new iPad will feature a higher-resolution display, Retina probably, and a quad-core processor. It will also connect to LTE networks.

The company’s manufacturing partners in Asia started ramping up production of the iPad 3 this month and plan to reach full volumes by February, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. The tablet will use a quad-core chip, an enhancement that lets users jump more quickly between applications, two of the people said.

 The iPad 3 was previously reported to sport a similar design to the iPad 2. We also previously discovered references to quad-core iOS devices in the latest iOS betas.

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Apple celebrates Year of the Dragon with Jan. 6 ‘Red Friday’ shopping event

Following up on Lucky Bags that were handed out to Japanese Apple customers this weekend, Apple is also celebrating the Lunar New Year with a one day Apple shopping event, dubbed “Red Friday” on Friday, Jan. 6 in China/Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. In the past, Apple has given modest discounts to its products for the Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year celebration starts on Monday, Jan. 23.

Al Gore: “Everyone on [Apple's] management team could be CEO of a world class corporation.”

Al Gore had some words on the passing of Steve Jobs at the AllThingsD conference in Asia last night. He said that Jobs was “the kind of guy that comes along once every 250 years.”

On Apple after him, Jobs relayed to Gore that Disney, where Jobs’ served on the board after selling Pixar, fell on hard times after Walt Disney died. Often, the board at Disney would ask “What would Walt do?” and trying to figure that out would end up being the wrong answer. Jobs, according to Gore, didn’t want this to happen at Apple. He wanted Apple to make its own decisions moving forward based on the decisions of the current management team.

Gore wasn’t terribly revealing on specifics but he did say “There’s a lot of stuff in the pipeline and the team [Steve Jobs] left behind is really firing on all cylinders”.

Finally, when asked about Apple’s future, Gore said that the management team is the best in the world and that “Everyone on that management team could be CEO of a world class corporation”. Gore acknowledges this is both a blessing and a curse and, as with the case of Ron Johnson, other companies will be trying to pick them off.

Gore also talked about the AT&T&T-Mobile merger during the Q&A answering a question from TIMN’s Joanna Stern saying that the merger would be unlikely, and would be hard to overcome Justice Department’s challenge.

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