Apple thanks its employees for making “amazing moments” this year with a customized Incase backpack

Near the end of each year Apple thanks its employees for their hard work with a nice souvenir. This year some employees are being given a black Incase backpack featuring a bright white Apple logo.

At least one employee has already put the gift up on eBay with a starting bid of $49.99 and a Buy It Now of $99.99. From the images we’ve received, it appears that the bag is a customized version of the Incase Staple Backpack. In past years, Apple employees have received blankets, sweatshirts, and water bottles.

The bags were accompanied by this letter:

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Bose products reportedly set to return to Apple Store shelves as early as next week

Bose-Apple-Store-demo

Earier this year Bose and Apple had a bit of a falling out when the former decided to block NFL players from wearing Beats headphones while on camera, then fined players who violated the rule. Beats Electronics co-founder Jimmy Iovine said at the time that the ban actually served Beats by providing a bit of free publicity.

Apple apparently didn’t agree, and retaliated by pulling all Bose products from its store shelves in October. Around that time the two companies were also duking it out in a patent lawsuit, though they eventually decided to settle.

But Bose products are reportedly headed back to Apple Store shelves…

Apple begins hiring retail positions in Brussels ahead of first Belgium store opening

(RED) Apple Store logo

(RED) Apple Store logo

As it continues to expand its global reach through its retail stores, Apple has begun recruiting for Apple Store-specific positions in Brussels through job listings posted online. As MacGeneration points out, the upcoming Apple Store opening in the capital city will mark Apple’s first retail location in Belgium. Read more

Apple retail store signage goes (RED) for World AIDS Day on Dec. 1

Red-Apple-logo-retail-store

Like it did last year, Apple’s participation in this year’s Worlds AIDS Day will include changing the iconic glowing white Apple logo that hangs outside its retail stores to red in order to raise awareness for the fight against AIDS. The new red Apple signage is already up at Apple’s Australian stores (pictured above) as we roll into Dec. 1 local time. Read more

Here’s why beacon networks are the way to go for retailers & app developers supporting iBeacon

Aloompa_-_Bonnaroo_Beacon_Activity

If you’re a retailer, you have two options when it comes to deploying Bluetooth beacons. You can deploy the hardware yourself and build an accompanying mobile app for the experience, or you can open the experience to existing apps that users already have on their device using a beacon network. Some retailers have decided they want to own the experience and have everything go through their own mobile app, but new data suggests that might not be the way to go. Read more

Apple Online Store frontpage redesigned ahead of Black Friday, pushing iOS devices, Macs and Beats accessories

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 13.42.11

For Black Friday, Apple has refreshed the frontpage of its online store with a rather-drastic redesign. Each product category now dominates the webpage, with full-bleed images of their main product lines. The new iPad updates get the top spot, but interestingly Apple TV and Beats headphones also get prime placement. In fact, the product images for Beats accessories are so large, it only takes four images to dominate the screen.

The strap-line ‘From one gift come many’ headlines the page, which also links up with Apple’s upcoming retail store holiday changes. The same tagline will soon be featured in Apple Store windows around the world, highlighting the wide scope of the iPhone and iPad, as shown below.

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CVS and Rite Aid Apple Pay blockade official as iOS and Android users unite in rare showing to fight NFC ban

apple-pay

The NYT reports that Rite Aid has joined CVS in disabling Apple Pay as a payment method in its stores. Like CVS, Rite Aid is a member of the Merchant Customer eXchange (MCX) consortium promoting a rival mobile payment service, CurrentC.

Consumers are responding by threatening to boycott stores which disable Apple Pay, with more than 2,000 comments across several Reddit threads on the topic. Android users are joining in, as disabling NFC also blocks alternative mobile payment services offered by higher-end Android handsets …  Read more

Apple reportedly removing Bose products from retail stores as NFL bans & Bose sues Beats

Bose-Apple-Store-demo

Bose headphones and audio products could soon get the boot from Apple retail stores, according to a report from MacRumors citing “a reliable source.”

While Apple’s acquisition of Beats would seem like the obvious reason behind replacing the many Bose headphones and speakers currently used with iOS and Mac demo units, the report also claims that Apple will be removing Bose products from store shelves in addition to the demo units. Read more

That Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates could be the world’s largest

mall-emirates

Middle East luxury lifestyle magazine Edgar claims “insider knowledge” that the planned Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates will be the largest in the world, and will be located in a huge shopping mall in Dubai.

US-based tech giant Apple will open its biggest store in the world at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, EDGAR can exclusively reveal […] Our undisclosed source said that the store – which will be the biggest Apple has ever built – was originally planned to replace the current cinema complex …

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New job listings indicate Apple’s aim to bolster retail marketing team

 

Burberry Group Plc CEO Angela Ahrendts At The London Stock Exchange

Following the recent hire of a former Burberry and Nike social marketing executive to run Apple’s new social media arm, a few job listings on Apple’s website point to an attempt to bolster the company’s retail marketing team. A few of the positions were outlined by ifo Apple Store earlier today and seem to point toward an increased focus on building and maintaining customer loyalty to the Apple brand.

We’ve heard time and again that Apple customers, particularly iPhone users, are among the most loyal, but it seems Apple believes there’s still more to be done in that department. One of these new job listings calls for a “Program Manager — Loyalty, Global Retail Marketing,” which would focus on creating “learning and services strategies” designed to inspire loyalty among Apple’s user base.

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