Apple Store revamp for Apple Watch revealed: ‘magical’ display tables, demo loops, sales process

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While the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition has been receiving a lot of attention due to its premium pricing and aesthetic, Apple will sell far more of the lower-priced Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sport models, and has created a different customer journey for those customers, according to sources briefed on the plans. Most of the sales process will be familiar to buyers of other products from the Apple Store, but a number of steps are different, including the process of visiting a “magical” display case, trying on different models, playing with demo units, considering Apple Watch accessories, and actually finalizing the purchase. Below, we detail the entire customer experience for the upcoming Apple Watch launch…

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Apple’s sales overhaul for Apple Watch will focus on building trust, offering fashion views, upselling bands

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The job of Apple Retail Store employees will begin changing in profound ways next month. In order to showcase and sell the Apple Watch, retail employees will be trained to provide personal fashion and styling advice to customers, according to employees briefed on the plans. Until now, Apple Retail has been tasked with recommending iPads, iPhones and Macs with few styling options aside from limited color options.

Apple is pushing for retail employees to initiate conversations that build trust, enabling the employee to serve as a valued fashion advisor during the purchase process, similarly to how traditional watches are sold. Apple Watch sales training programs will take place for Apple retail staff over the course of the next two weeks, teaching entirely new sales techniques to encourage iPhone upgrades, assist with gifting, and guide customers in watch and strap choices.

Below, we detail how employees will provide fashion advice to customers and Apple’s multi-part plan for selling an Apple Watch.

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Apple Store retail plan for Watch: 15 min. appointments, 10+ try-on stations, Experts for Edition

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Apple will introduce several major initiatives to ready its retail stores for the Apple Watch’s launch in April, according to sources briefed on the upcoming changes. Starting on April 10th, Apple will allocate 15 minutes per customer for in-store try-on appointments, using 10 or more try-on stations to manage what’s expected to be a steady flow of customers interested in having hands-on time with the Watch. While customers will not necessarily be required to have an appointment, they will be time-limited and guided during the hands-on experience. Additionally, they will be given the opportunity to place a reservation at the time of try-on for a particular model, and make a follow-up appointment to pick the watch up during the April 24th launch date. Stores will also have launch day stock for walk-in appointments.

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The iPhone and iPad reportedly captured 93% of mobile device profits in holiday quarter, 79% across 2014

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Apple reported the largest profit ever recorded by a public company in the holiday quarter, mostly driven by sales of 74 million iPhones with an average selling price of $687. According to Cannacord, this meant Apple captured 93% of handset smartphone profits. Perhaps more staggering is that it claims Apple dominated on similar levels across the entire of 2014 — with 79% of mobile device profits.

The analyst expects continued growth for the iPhone for the next few users, with an estimated 650 million iPhone users by the end of 2018.

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Apple builds national enterprise sales team for IBM partnership, targets industrial, healthcare, financial customers

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Apple is looking to hire individuals across the US for a team of IBM Business Development Executives that “will be accountable for all aspects of the Apple and IBM partnership for a defined geographic and account set territory.” That means Apple is hiring a team of individuals that will act as company liaisons to help roll out and oversee sales teams pushing the new Apple/IBM iOS solutions to enterprise customers. The positions, which are industry and region-specific, also show Apple’s plan for the upcoming expansion of its enterprise solutions for new industries including manufacturing and healthcare.  Read more

AAPL shares reach new record high of $120 following Apple’s record Q1 earnings report

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Apple’s stock soared the day after the company reported its record breaking quarter with over $74 billion in revenue and more than 74 million iPhones sold, and now Apple’s stock has reached a new all-time high during trading. The company briefly touched on $120/share during trading this morning and is on track to break its previous record closing high soon. Read more

Apple grew 157% in China to over $16B in revenue last quarter

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Ahead of Apple’s fiscal Q1 2015 earnings report today, there were signs that Apple had enjoyed significant growth in China and a record number of smartphone sales in the region during the holidays. Today, we get some more insight into that growth, as Apple reported a 157% increase from the previous quarter: revenue of $16.144 billion in Greater China compared to $6.292 billion in Q3. Read more

Popularity of the iPhone 6/Plus sees Apple make market share gains around the world – Kantar

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Worldwide smartphone sales data from Kantar shows that strong iPhone 6 sales helped Apple achieve market share gains in all but one of the nine countries surveyed. iOS increased its market share in the US, UK, China, Australia, Germany, France, Italy and Spain – with Japan the sole exception.

In the US, Apple’s share of the smartphone market jumped 4.3% year-on-year in the three months ending in November to 47.4%. No surprise that the iPhone 6 was the best-selling phone in the country, capturing 19% of all smartphone sales …  Read more

Cyber Monday: The best iPhone, iPad, & Mac accessories on sale today

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A ton of great deals on accessories for iPhone, iPad and Macs have gone live today for Cyber Monday in addition to the many Black Friday deals still running from the weekend. Today is your last chance to get in on most of these discounts and in some cases might be your last chance to get your hands on these products before the holidays.

Head below for our roundup of the best deals available today on cases and accessories for your Apple device.  Read more