Apple will introduce several major initiatives to ready its retail stores for the Apple Watch’s launch in April, according to sources briefed on the upcoming changes. Starting on April 10th, Apple will allocate 15 minutes per customer for in-store try-on appointments, using 10 or more try-on stations to manage what’s expected to be a steady flow of customers interested in having hands-on time with the Watch. While customers will not necessarily be required to have an appointment, they will be time-limited and guided during the hands-on experience. Additionally, they will be given the opportunity to place a reservation at the time of try-on for a particular model, and make a follow-up appointment to pick the watch up during the April 24th launch date. Stores will also have launch day stock for walk-in appointments.
Although many people expected that Apple’s Spring Forward event would mostly focus on the Apple Watch, more than half of the event — notably, the first part — covered other topics. Collectively, there were so many interesting developments that their individual significance was somewhat lost, particularly given that long-awaited Watch pricing news wrapped up the event.
That’s why I wanted to reconsider what Spring Forward revealed about some of Apple’s non-Watch products. Some of the announcements signal that big changes are ahead for Apple’s Mac, iPad, and Apple TV product lines, as well as Apple itself. Read on for my thoughts, and add yours to the comments section below…
London’s Financial Times today carries a profile of Jony Ive in which he discusses how the Mac changed his dislike of computers, why he is consumed by design and disinterested in sales, the difference between designing a phone (and its slim battery) and designing a smartwatch–and why Apple decided to take a low-key approach on even the top-end Edition watch.
Apple will soon make a significant change to retail store Genius Bar appointments to improve the customer experience, according to several sources briefed on the upcoming shift. During the week of March 9th, Apple’s United States stores will launch a new initiative called “The new Concierge” that replaces traditional walk-in Genius Bar appointments. Currently, a customer seeking Genius Bar assistance can walk into an Apple Retail Store, explain the issue to a check-in assistant, and get a specific time to return for an appointment…
The New Yorker has published an extensive profile on Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design. Many newspapers have written up articles on Ive in recent years, but this latest account by Ian Parker is by far the most detailed and (arguably) the most interesting, revealing new anecdotes and tidbits on Apple’s latest products in the process.
The story tracks how Jony arrived at Apple back in the late 90’s, how his relationship with Jobs developed over that period, and how he is adapting to ‘leading’ design in post-Jobs Apple. The piece includes some new details about how the Watch project and the newest iPhones formed, as well as incorporating quotes from Tim Cook, Bob Mansfield, and others.
Read on for some select excerpts from The New Yorker’s story.
Samsung announced last year that, after negative reviews of the design of its Galaxy S5, its head of mobile design Change Dong-hoon was being replaced by then VP of mobile design Lee Min-hyouck. Today, however, it was revealed that the company is bringing in an outside designer to help refresh its product lineup. A report from the Korea Herald states that Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae to be its new head of design. Don-tae would lead design of all Samsung gadgets, including smartphones.
We’ve already seen how Apple is presenting the upcoming Apple Watch, which it calls its most personal device yet, as not just another technology device but also a piece of jewelry that the fashion world will be proud to embrace.
9to5Mac has now learned from internal hiring documents that Apple is recruiting retail candidates this month with “a fashion or luxury background” suggesting Apple is preparing to deliver some changes to its retail stores in time for the Apple Watch’s early 2015 debut. With former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts leading Apple’s retail efforts and the Apple Watch set to transform the Apple Store into a jewelry store, what could a potential Apple Store makeover include? Read more
“Even though Apple Watch does so many things, there are cultural, historical implications and expectations,” Ive said. “That’s why it’s been such a difficult and humbling program […] As soon as something is worn, we have expectations of choice,” said Ive. Only “in prison,” he joked, do people all wear the same thing.
He made the remarks while accepting the 2014 Bay Area Treasure Award from San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art last night … Read more
Last week Jony Ive took part in an interview during Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit where he discussed topics such as his views on product design, development of the first iPhone, Steve Jobs, and more. Today the magazine made the full 25-minute video from the interview available for viewing.
In the interview, Ive calls the fact that some other companies copy Apple’s product design style “theft” and gives more insight into the process behind why (and how) the first iPhone featured a large touchscreen display when other phones of the day were getting smaller and smaller. He also discusses his first experience with an Apple product and how to led to his current career in design.
You can watch the full video below:
Jony Ive appeared live today at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit and talked about Apple’s design team, principles, and process. For example, the executive revealed that Apple’s core design team is made up of only about 16 people, and the company almost gave up on the first-generation iPhone because they weren’t sure they could get a touch interface working.
According to Business Insider, Ive said that no one has ever voluntarily left his small design team, which is a pretty fantastic track record. He also said that the rounded edges on the newest iPhone models were designed to make it feel thinner. Previous attempts had been made at creating a larger iPhone, but the squared edges made it feel bulky.
You can find some of the more interesting tidbits below. Video footage of the event below.