iPad already has 20,000 education and learning apps, says Apple


Image courtesy of AllThingsD

Apple’s education event is underway at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum, where Phil Schiller, the company’s vice president of worldwide marketing, provided an update on key metrics related to Apple’s education business. Remarking that the United States “is not at the top of industrialized nations,” Schiller said: “If you’re a freshman, you only have a 70 percent chance of graduating.”

After playing a video that outlined the problem with U.S. education today, Schiller said “no one person or company” could fix it all. Apple, of course, will try. The basis for such an ambitious undertaking, of course, is the iPad, which Schiller said was No. 1 on kids wish lists this holiday season. The goal is to help integrate the iPad into the curriculum.

However, the iPad is already strong in education. Here are some interesting metrics:

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AAPL reaches all-time high of $429 a share, market cap closes in on $400B

With an announcement tomorrow in New York City and an earnings call on Jan. 24, Apple Inc., has reached an all-time high of $429.47 per share on today’s market, and it closed at $429.11. Being up more than four points today, Apple is continuing to close in on a $400B market cap and sits at just $398.70B at closing.

Apple is expected to have had a record breaking Q1, which will be reported in an earnings call with CEO Tim Cook on Jan. 24. With the help of holiday sales, some analysts predict Apple sold 5 million Macs and around 30 million iPhones.

Tomorrow’s media event in New York City also added to today’s stock frenzy. Apple is expected to make a major announcement in the textbook industry. There have been many reports that Apple made the necessary partnerships with publishers, and may even launch its own textbook creation tool — which Ars Technica called a “GarageBand for e-books.” Apple teased the event as an education announcement. Per usual, 9to5Mac will be covering both events. Tomorrow’s event begins at 10 a.m., so stick with us for coverage. Any final predictions?

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Apple invites media for ‘education announcement’ in New York, next Thursday, Jan. 19


Invitation image via @thepeterha

As first reported by The Loop, Apple sent out invites today for a special media event held in New York City next Thursday, Jan. 19. The invitation’s graphic shows the familiar New York skyscraper motif, adorned with the Apple logo silhouette and the tagline:

Join us for an education announcement in the Big Apple.

The invite arrives following a flurry of speculation pertaining to the nature of the event, which was first hinted by AllThingsD. The publication reported on Jan. 2 that Apple’s presser will not be huge —at least not compared to the company’s splashy theatrical announcements—nor will it cover any iPad or Apple TV hardware news.

Instead, it will focus on iBooks, another report said. With education the focus, this leaves iBooks and perhaps textbooks, another market Jobs wanted to disrupt, as the main attraction. The presser is said to involve Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue, whose recently expanded responsibilities now include the App Store, iTunes Store, iAd, iCloud and iBooks.

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Apple reportedly planning late-January event in New York, media to be the focus

AllThingsD reported that Apple is planning an event for late January to be held in New York, not in Cupertino or San Francisco, Calif. The event will not be huge nor will it cover any iPad or Apple TV related announcements.

But, for sure, several sources underscored that the event is not related to an upcoming version of the iPad 3, the next iteration of the popular tablet device that many expect to be available in 2012. Also unlikely,?the rollout of Apple’s large-scale rethinking of its interactive television initiative currently in the works. While the company is expected to launch a new Apple TV product later in 2012, such an event would also certainly be held in the heart of the industry in Hollywood or at least in Silicon Valley. That leaves some kind of advertising or even publishing announcement…

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Internet Services and Software Eddy Cue is said to be involved in the event, and the event is reportedly “media-related.” On a side note, Apple has an office for their iAd business in New York, the business that Cue is now in heading.

Update: Jim Dalrymple from the Loop seems to agree with a “yep.”

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Grand Central Apple Store Media Day interior shots hit the web as Apple makes first official statement


Image by jennydeluxe

Grand opening of Apple’s massive new store inside New York City’s Grand Central Station is scheduled for Friday, December 9 at 10am, but today at 10am is a “media day”. Ahead of the event, first images of the store’s interior are cropping up all over the web. UPDATE: Apple just released a press statement formally announcing the new store. The new outlet is open from 7am to 9pm, Monday through Friday, Saturday 10am to 7pm and Sunday 11am to 6pm as we reported last week.

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The release also mentions 315 employees that work at the store, providing services such as Personal Pickup, two Genius Bars, the new 15-minute Express Workshops that offer “tips and tricks in a streamlined format to serve customers on a tight schedule” and of course the EasyPay system via the updated Apple Store app which lets folks “scan and pay for accessories with their iPhone”. More images, full release and another video by Fortune’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt right after the break.

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Apple Store Grand Central closer to opening

Apple is beginning to prepare for the upcoming holiday shopping season by putting the final touches on several retail locations and reinventing the way their visitors buy Apple gear.  Most notable is opening up a flagship store in New York’s iconic Grand Central Station.  Why is Grand Central such a big deal, especially when there are already Apple Stores in New York in affluent neighborhoods?  Here are some quick facts on Grand Central:

  1. 750,000 people pass through Grand Central daily and over 1,000,000 people during the holidays
  2. Mean household income for Grand Central Terminal commuters is $95,800; 50% of household incomes are over $100,000, and 20% are over $200,000.
  3. The captive shopping population of more than 326,000 neighborhood office workers earn a combined $11.3 billion a year.
  4. An average 7,500 people an hour pass the corner of 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, making it one of the busiest intersections in the city.
  5. 21.6 million out-of-town tourists, with a mean income of $62,000, visit Grand Central each year.
  6. Grand Central is served by Metro-North commuter trains, 31 commuter and 15 city bus routes, 7 subway lines, buses to and from the area’s three airports, and two million taxis a year.
  7. Grand Central Terminal subway station is the busiest stop in the New York City subway system.

The future Grand Central Station Apple Store is progressing towards an end of November opening.  Future employees for the store have been going through their “Core” training for the past several weeks at a hotel in Times Square, Midtown Manhattan… Read more

Amazon’s $199 Fire is a 7-inch Fire tablet with no cameras, mic or 3G access and Nov. 15th release date

Just as Amazon’s media event begins in New York, serving as a launchpad for their inaugural tablet, Bloomberg spoils the announcement by publishing key pieces of information about the device. It will be called the Kindle Fire, as rumored, and will cost just $199, which is a pretty big deal.

The tablet is powered by a dual-core processor, has a seven-inch color display which responds to touch (just two fingers at once, though) and a “fresh and easy user interface” running on a forked Android version. You can read e-books on it, listen to music, watch movies and play games available for download through the Amazon Appstore for Android. Meanwhile, our own Seth Weintraub is on the scene in New York at Amazon’s press conference and here’s what he was able to glean from Amazon’s announcement…

A biggie: The device will come with a 60-day free trial of Amazon Prime (a $79 a year value) membership and pre-registered with your Amazon account, so you can literally use it right out of the box. Bad news: It has no cameras – not even a microphone. Heck, it even lacks 3G access so looks like the Fire will be a Wi-Fi affair only. The Kindle Fire is available at Amazon’s newly published Fire page and over at amazon.com/kindlefire. November 15 can’t come soon enough.

As for competition, check out this side-by-side specs comparison of Amazon’s Fire, Apple’s iPad 2 and Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, courtesy of The Verge.

That, plus this bit from the Bloomberg article:

Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is betting he can leverage Amazon’s dominance in e-commerce to pose a real challenge to Apple’s iPad, after tablets from rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Research In Motion Ltd. have fallen short. Sales of Amazon’s electronic books, movies and music on the device may help make up for the narrower profit margins that are likely to result from the low price, said Brian Blair, an analyst at Wedge Partners Corp. in New York.

The analyst observes what all of us have known for a long time, that the Seattle-based online retailer has the most compelling ecosystem to take on Apple’s iTunes juggernaut. His quote plus three more Fire shots after the break.

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East Coast Apple Stores close while others open in Arkansas and North Carolina


Apple’s grand opening of their first store in Arkansas

Today, Apple is opening three new Apple Stores in North Carolina, Arkansas, and France.

  • Arkansas – The grand opening in Little Rock will mark the state’s first Store, located at The Promenade at Chenal.  There are of course campers.
  • France – France’s new Store is located just south of Paris, at the Centre commercial régional. This makes for the country’s ninth store, after opening a new one just last weekend.
  • North Carolina- The new store is located in Charlotte in the Northlake Mall, making for North Carolina’s fifth store.

While the three new Stores are opening, Apple has made the decision to shut down stores in New York including all three in Manhattan, New Jersey and Connecticut.

In other Apple Store news, we’ve heard the Hong Kong Store is going to be delayed a month into October. But don’t worry, Apple will still be unveiling new stores in order to meet their goal of opening 30 new stores by September 30th. Apple still has 14 more to go. (via ifoAppleStore) (thanks Ryan! and Danny Ocean)

Check out a video of the opening in France after the break:

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The inside scoop on Apple’s new giant Los Angeles “Apple Store 2.0″ location

Apple Upper West Side in New York – Showing the floating Apple in the glass front

Apple will open their newest Apple Store this Saturday at 10 AM in the heart of Glendale, California; a city within the Greater Los Angeles Area. The store resides approximately 500-600 feet away from the world’s first Apple Store – store R001 at the Glendale Galleria Mall. Although the store opens this Saturday, the design, feel, interior, and exterior is yet to be revealed to the public. We have spoken to a proven corporate source in Apple’s retail division that is familiar with the development of Apple’s newest retail store.

Externally, the store is slightly different than the Apple Stores we have become accustomed to. The Americana at Brand location will trade the classic silver front with glass doors for an all glass front. That’s right; all glass – Apple’s newish style. In addition, Apple’s iconic logo will float in this glass, similarly to how the Apple logo floats in the Fifth Avenue store’s famous glass cube or the Upper West Side store’s front. The inside of the store features a very open floor plan, that is fairly similar to the chain’s other locations.

At the back of the store sits a giant Genius Bar, one of Apple’s largest: fifty seats. In addition, the store has at least twelve giant tables throughout – not including side panels as showcases, that hold iPads, iPod, iPhones, Macs, and more. Like some of Apple’s more recent retail locations, this one holds a sizable briefing room; a room where employees assist business customers. In addition  – and this is more employee oriented – there is a giant back of house area for repairs, breaks, offices, and for other utilities like Apple’s 5th Avenue Store… more details including Apple Store 2.0 info after the break:

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Spotify to launch tomorrow in US

We just got word that Spotify will launch tomorrow in the US (as reported last week).  Perhaps something nice to put on your new Mac?

New York, July 13, 2011 – Spotfy, the award-winning digital music service loved by millions of Europeans, will become available tomorrow morning in the United States by invitation and subscription. Spotify is a new way to listen to and manage your music, discover new tracks and share songs and playlists with friends – music whenever you want it, wherever you are.

Be one of the first people in the U.S. to experience Spotify by signing up at www.spotify.com.

Spotify will announce more details at 8:00 AM EST.

You’ll want to hit this link at some point in the morning. Read more

AT&T CEO says T-Mobile deal will boost iPhone service, chances for world peace

Good ol’ AT&T has got their PR machine in high gear today.  CEO Randall Stephenson told Businessweek that the T-Mobile deal would instantly bring more bandwidth to users in constrained cities:

“This transaction is very instrumental” in improving network service, said Stephenson at the event. “Virtually on the day you close the deal, getting a 30 percent lift in capacity in New York City: that’s a significant improvement in call quality and data throughput.”

Other things that would have helped: Adding capacity at the same rate you were adding customers.

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