iOS 9 Transit Maps to launch in a handful of cities in North America, Europe & China

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

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Apple announces grand opening for Apple Watch shops in department stores in London, Paris and Tokyo (Gallery)

selfridges

We reported last month that Apple was creating Apple Watch displays inside department stores in London and Paris, adding earlier this month that Tokyo was joining the party. All three stores-within-a-store are now official, with entries on Apple’s website. As we previously noted, the locations are Selfridges in LondonGaleries Lafayette in Paris and Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo.

All three are opening on April 10th, the same day Apple Watchs are available for preview and pre-orders in Apple’s own retail stores, and are being given a high-profile presence in each department store …  Read more

Apple Watch ‘pop up’ stores prognosticated for Paris, London and SXSW

Selfridges_London
Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Apple considering dedicated Apple Watch stores as it sets up Paris booth, London Selfridges Wonder Room

Apple Watch hands on table from September

Apple Watch hands-on table from September Media Event

According to multiple reports out of France, Apple is constructing a dedicated display for the upcoming Apple Watch in some upscale Paris-based retail outlets. The reports say that the size of the display is close to the length of a few small balconies and that Apple Retail Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts has been directing the construction of the booth at retailer Galeries Lafayette on Champs Elysees. While these claims for France are still unconfirmed, sources have told us that Apple is considering constructing dedicated Apple Watch retail stores in the future if demand deems such outlets necessary…

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Apple’s design team headed to Paris Fashion Week, likely for Apple Watch event

Apple-design-team-01

Is that Jony Ive and Marc Newson at the top right?

Update: Both relevant photos have since been removed from Instagram.

Following a report earlier today that Apple and French fashion retailer Colette were teasing a one day in-store experience, there’s now more evidence the collaboration might be for Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch. It appears that Apple’s design team could also be headed to the event or at least to the same city, lending more weight to the idea that Apple Watch is about to get some stage time during Paris Fashion Week. Read more

Paul Deneve brings YSL’s Europe President and Retail chief into the Apple fold

apple-to-hire-former-yves-saint-laurent-ceo-paul-deneve-for-special-projects-64723-1

Apple has just made another significant hire from the global fashion industry: Yves Saint Laurent’s Europe President and Retail Head Catherine Monier. Sources say that Monier left the Paris, France-based fashion icon earlier this summer and that she started at Apple within the last few weeks. The sources added that former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, who joined Apple last year to work on “Special Projects” under Apple CEO Tim Cook, was behind the hire and that Monier will work on Deneve’s team…

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Apple shares video of last week’s Pride Parade, showing support for equality and diversity

Just over a week ago, thousands of Apple employees, including CEO Tim Cook, took to the streets of San Francisco to take part in the Pride Parade. The company has not been hesitant to share its views on LGBT rights, and the parade was yet another instance of that. This evening, Apple uploaded a video to its official YouTube channel showing off all of the effort that went into the Pride Parade last week and its “unwavering” support for equality and diversity.

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Flurry of new Apple Stores on the way in Japan, France, China, Brazil & Italy

tokyo

Tokyo skyline: vacationadvice101.com

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning its first new store in Tokyo since 2005.

Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by February, the person said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak for Apple.

Tokyo is noted for its high land values. Bloomberg estimating the cost of the land at around $164M with the finished store expected to be worth a staggering $256M …  Read more

Apple expands 3D Flyover coverage in Maps to Paris, France and surrounding areas


3D-Flyover-Paris-FranceApple has steadily been making improvements to its Maps data following a controversial launch. Last year Apple pushed out major updates to its 3D Maps coverage, adding a number of new cities in the US, UK, France, and Canada, while just last March it quietly pushed out some big improvements to Maps data in Japan. Today our friends over at igen.fr point out that Apple has just pushed out another big update to its 3D Flyover mode, this time bringing new content to more locations across France. Some of the new coverage areas include Paris, Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris and to The Hay-les-Roses. Currently, Apple only lists support for 3D building coverage for Lyon, France.

We can’t be sure that France is the only location to get new 3D Maps data today, so let us know in the comments if you notice any additions in your city.

In somewhat related Maps news, TechCrunch has confirmed earlier reports coming from Israeli publication Calcalist that Facebook is currently in discussions with mapping company Waze to acquire the company for close to $1 billion. You might recall that Apple is currently using Waze data in its Maps application and for a brief while was rumored to be in talks to acquire the company. Apple could presumably replace Waze’s free crowd-sourced map data with another Maps provider that offers similar data, but it’s unclear at this point how important Waze is as a Maps source or if an acquisition might affect Apple’s Maps app.