iTunes Connect shutting down for holidays between December 22-29

iTunes Connect December 2014

Apple has sent an email to registered developers on Wednesday to inform them that iTunes Connect will be shutting down for the holidays from December 22 to December 29. During this time, developers will be unable to submit new apps, app updates or in-app purchases to appear on the App Store. Access to iTunes Connect, Application Loader, iTunes Connect for iOS and making changes to TestFlight Beta Testing will also be unavailable as a whole. Read more

T-Mobile eliminates down payment on new 16 GB iPhones for holiday shoppers

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T-Mobile has announced that they will no longer require a down payment on certain iPhone models during the holiday season. Specifically, customers will no longer have to pay anything when purchasing a 16 GB iPhone 5s or 5c. Several iPad models—the 16 GB Air, mini, and Retina mini—are also available for no money down, though that seems to be their regular price. Monthly payments on these devices ranges from $17-$26.

This deal is available both in physical T-Mobile stores and through the carrier’s online store starting on December 11th. This special price is only available for a limited time, though the carrier hasn’t given an official ending date. The full press release is below:

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In company-wide email, Apple CEO Tim Cook applauds awe-inspiring work of employees, gives Thanksgiving week off

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Following the launch of two new iPhone models and iOS 7 earlier this month, Tim Cook today emailed Apple employees thanking them for working tirelessly on the new products and rewarding them with extra, paid time off for the upcoming Thanksgiving holidays.

I realize many of you worked tirelessly to bring us this far. I know it required great personal sacrifice…In recognition of your incredible efforts and achievements, I’m happy to announce that we’re extending the Thanksgiving holiday this year.

Cook announced that Apple will shut down on November 25, 26, and 27 so employees can have the entire week off for the holiday. Retail and AppleCare employees will continue to work on those days to serve customers, but they’ll get the additional, paid time off at a later date along with international employees.

And I am proud to tell you that Apple is also a force for good in our world beyond our products. Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making a substantial contribution to society.

None of this would have been possible without you. Our most important resource is not our money, our intellectual property, or any capital asset. Our most important resource — our soul — is our people.

In addition to announcing the additional time off, Cook noted that he visited Apple retail stores during the launch of the iPhone, and also thanked employees for the “substantial contributions” Apple has made to charitable causes.

Cook’s full letter to employees is below: Read more

Tim Cook admits that iMac launch should have been postponed to avoid delays for customers

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When asked about staggered product launches during the Q&A of Apple’s Q2 2013 earnings call today, Apple CEO Tim Cook admitted that he wished Apple would have postponed the launch of the new iMac until after the holiday season in order to avoid the significant delays that customers experienced in the initial months of launch:

I don’t spend a lot of time looking back… If we could run it over, i would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year… we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product… Where the iPad mini was in shortage in the December quarter, I would not have done that differently because we were able to get the product out to many customers that wanted it. In retrospect, I wish it [iMac] was after the turn of the year so customers would not have had to wait as long as they did.

When Apple first launched the all new, slimmed down iMac lineup leading up to the holidays in October of last year, Tim Cook quickly confirmed that Apple would run into some significant component constraints and delays for the product. The months following launch saw major delays with customers ordering the product having to wait weeks to receive their shipments and some models pushed back as far as December.

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.