GarageBand, Star Walk, Threes and more apps go (RED) until December 7th, all proceeds going to charity

A range of apps have been updated today with limited-time promotions, in aid of the (RED) charity. Apple has participated in the event with an update to GarageBand, offering a limited-edition In-App Purchase that makes over 300 new drum, guitar, synth and bass loops available as an In-App Purchase. All proceeds from the sale of this expansion pack go directly to the (RED) charity, which sends the money to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The In-App Purchase, which is priced at $0.99, will be available until December 7th.

Other notable developers are also participating, many of which including exclusive additional content. For example, Threes has been updated, with a fresh red theme and updated icon. Monument Valley has added one special (RED) level, Star Walk has added exploration of Mars, The Red Planet. The popular drawing app, Paper, has also participated with a red application theme and icon. The ‘Over’ app has made special edition font and artwork packs available for purchase. djay and Heads Up! are also taking part in the event. Like GarageBand, 100% of proceeds of app and IAP sales go to the (RED) fund.

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Apple’s annual Back to School promotion likely kicking off at end of June

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Retro Apple Store Back to School display

Apple could be planning to launch its annual Back to School sales promotion within the next two weeks. Apple Stores, according to several employees, will be changing the front of store glass window displays overnight on June 30th. This is the usual timeframe in which Apple launches a promotion to boost Mac, iPad, and iPhone sales in anticipation of the new school year in the fall.

Last year, the Back to School promotion consisted of $100 App Store gift cards for Mac purchases and $50 cards for iPad and iPhone purchases by students with their Student IDs. Of course, this June 30th window change could be connected to another promotion or a new product, but based on the timing, the Back to School program being in the wings seems most likely.

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RadioShack offers $79 iPhone 5s on contract, $30 iPhone 5c, or free with trade-in

radioshack-iPhone-5s-deal

RadioShack is offering one of the best discounts you’ll find on a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c on contract. These are in-store prices, but for just $79 (Reg. $199) you’ll be able to get a 16GB iPhone 5s on new or upgraded two-year contract. That includes AT&T, Verizon and Sprint and you can even slash that price further from $79 to $0 by taking advantage of RadioShack’s trade-in offers for the iPhone 4s. 

RadioShack is also offering a similar discount on the iPhone 5c. The entry-level 16GB model (Reg. $99) is available for just $29 (or for free with an eligible trade-in). That deal is also available on all three carriers including AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. Both of these deals are approximately $20 under the best deals we see pop up from time to time through various retailers. Read more

Denise Young Smith expands role to cover all Apple Human Resources, Podolny goes full-time Apple University

Denise-Young-Smith-AppleAccording to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has promoted its Vice President of Global Retail Stores Denise Young Smith to a new position as head of human resources for all of Apple. Smith previously lead HR for retail and replaces the old head of human resources, Joel Podolny, who Apple says will now “focus full-time on Apple University.” Interestingly, in Apple’s statement it noted that “Apple University is an increasingly important resource” and that Podolny will focus “full-time on developing and scaling the University.”

Apple provided the comment below to Bloomberg on Smith’s new position, noting the promotion “will expand her role to lead Apple’s worldwide human resources organization.” The full statement from Apple below: Read more

Apple confirms Apple Store iPhone trade-in program has launched today

Screen Shot 2013-08-30 at 10.21.24 AM

Photo from trade-in program training

In line with our reports from earlier this week, Apple has announced that its Apple Store iPhone trade-in-program has launched today. The confirmation comes by way of comment to CNBC.

The trade-in-program is officially called the “iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program” and it is available in Apple Stores across the United States. It is powered in-part by BrightStar…

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RadioShack to carry Virgin iPhone 5 tomorrow for as low as $499 with trade-in

Apple-iPhone-5-RadioShack

Update: The no-contract, Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 and promotional discounts are now live on RadioShack’s website.

We reported last week that the iPhone 5 would be coming to Virgin Mobile tomorrow starting at $549.99 on its usual no-contract, $30/month unlimited plans. RadioShack will be one of the first to carry the device and is also planning to offer a number of promotional discounts to celebrate the launch.

RadioShack will start carrying the Virgin Mobile iPhone 5 tomorrow both online and in-store for $549.99 (that’s for the 16GB model), but will also be offering $50 for eligible trade-ins until the end of next month. On top of the same $50 trade-in for iPhone 4S and iPhone 4, the retailer is also slashing prices on those two devices to $399.99 and $299.99 until July 6th.

Virgin Mobile will have both the black and white versions of the iPhone 5 available on its monthly no-contract plans starting at $35/month and its $30/month auto pay plan.  Read more

iPad 2 & iPod touch up to $50 off, Target offering $25 off iPhones on contract

According to an in-store iPhone advertisement in at least one Target location in Orlando, the store is offering $25 off the 8GB iPhone 4 and both the 16GB and 32GB iPhone 4S models until the end of the month. A tipster sent the image above showing the deal is offered for upgrades or on a new two-year contract available through AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint depending on your location.

(Thanks L. Nielsen!)

We are also noticing some of the best prices ever on iPad 2s. When Apple dropped the price of the iPad 2 by $100 (now starting at $399) after the introduction of the new iPad, retailers immediately started slashing prices even further on the last-generation device. We already saw the 16GB entry-level iPad 2 go for as low as $360, and today 9to5Toys pointed us to a 32GB model in white or black for $449 from Go4Computers through eBay Daily Deal. That deal includes free shipping and no tax (outside Florida), and the same goes for the 8GB iPod touch, which is usually $199 but now goes for $169.

If you live close enough to swing by a local Micro Center, it is currently offering the 16GB Wi-Fi only iPad 2 for $359.99.
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Sprint offering up to a $100 discount to select upgrade eligible customers

Sprint is showing its loyal customers some appreciation in the coming weeks with SprintFeed informing us that starting Feb. 5 select customers will receive a discount up to $100. The discounts will come in $25, $50, and $100 and will be offered to select “upgrade eligible customers that are at high risk of leaving Sprint” through email and snail mail. So the deal does apply to eligible upgrades, but it will require a new two-year commitment. Yes, this is a great way to get you sorted with a less expensive iPhone.

The promotion is running from Feb. 5 to March 18, so you might want to check if your account is flagged for the discount.

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