Apple Watch Reserve & Pickup system now rolling out, select models available in stores

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Apple this evening has launched a new Reserve & Pickup system for Apple Watch customers in the UK, Australia, and other countries as they change to June 17th. Earlier today it was reported that Apple Watch would soon be available in retail stores and this development is a step towards that for customers. Apple’s webpage for Reserve & Pickup says that Apple Watch models are available by reservation in retail stores, although availability will still be sparse and limited to select variants of Apple Watch.

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Apple launches iPhone and iPad trade-in program in China Apple Stores

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Apple today officially launched a version of its Apple Store iPhone trade-in program for China, as noted on the individual store pages for China’s Apple Retail Stores.

As is the case in the United States and several other countries with Apple Stores, the program allows a user to bring in an older iPhone model and trade in that device for gift card credit toward the purchase of a new iPhone; the program will most likely not allow a customer to trade in an iPhone toward the purchase of an Apple Watch. But as contrasted with the U.S., France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada and Italy, the new China program is limited to iPhones and iPads, and will not support non-Apple smartphones.

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Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

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Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ …  Read more

Apple Store visits continue to climb, though growth flattening

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Asymco’s Horace Dediu has put together a couple of charts showing that while the number of visitors to Apple’s retail stores continues to climb, the rate of growth is flattening off.

The underlying reason appears to be a slow-down in the rate at which Apple is opening new stores, as the average number of visitors per store has remained stable for the past three years …  Read more

Apple now allowing Personal Pickup for iPad mini, schedule between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

As it did for the iPhone 5, Apple has begun its Personal Pickup program for the iPad mini. Personal Pickup allows customers to buy a device on Apple’s website or mobile app between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and pick it up in store the next day (or whenever inventory is available). There are a number of stores across the country sold out of the iPad mini, so Personal Pickup may be your best bet at getting the 7.9-inch tablet ASAP.  Read more