The official Starbucks app for iOS has gotten an over-the-air update that enabled the ability to place an order right from the app, but only for users in Portland, Oregon. Users will now be able to create an order and pay for it directly from their phones, and find their coffee waiting for them at the counter when they arrive.
It looks like this week’s Apple “xxx-gate” is a big one with the Financial Times reporting that the European Commision is about to come down hard on Apple for its long held tax avoidance strategies in Ireland.
Typically the EU has used its state aid powers to address broader competition issues. But in the past year Brussels has attempted to target the tax affairs of companies such as Apple, Starbucks and Amazon. It is a novel application of the law with far-reaching implications, not just for the companies, or EU countries, but for EU-US relations in general.
This week the European Commission will publish the first findings in the Apple case. The details – including evidence from bygone tax negotiations – are likely to be explosive.
The US is no happier with Apple’s use of specially created Irish tax loopholes which allow it to avoid paying taxes it would otherwise be due. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other execs faced Senate Subcommittee questioning in May in which focused on Apple’s tax avoidance schemes.
Did Apple apply pressure to Irish authorities in 1991 and again in 2007 when negotiating tax deals and if so were these illegal competitive measures that gave Apple advantages over competitors? Luca Maestri, Apple’s finance chief, of course denies any wrongdoing… Read more
Starbucks, in partnership with Duracell, is starting a nationwide rollout of a wireless charging system for smartphones. The system is powered by Duracell’s Powermat technology, which we reviewed last July (starting at $3.50). The program will place 100,000 of the Duracell chargers at specially-marked tables in each Starbucks location. Users would then be able to charge any phone using a compatible wireless charging system.
So far the program has only rolled out in a few stores, but it’s scheduled to reach more markets by next year. There’s not a timetable yet for when the rollout will be complete.
While the program is only available in a few stores right now, a page on the website for the initiative lists locations where the service is currently offered.
We’ve already seen Starbucks show off a new way to pay and tip your barista in the long-awaited update to its iPhone app it previously announced, and today it is finally available and features a brand new design for iOS 7 when buying your latte.
Previously, the Starbucks app featured a number of various tabs on the bottom navigation bar, but the updated version has been dramatically simplified to focus on three main sections under the headers Pay, Stores, and Gift.
Reward member profiles, messages, and Pick of the Week content is now featured in a clean view with the app’s new tip feature as well.
The update also comes with a new icon to represent the refreshed design of the app. Read more
Starbucks, this week, updated their iconic Pick of the Week promotion to take advantage of iOS 7’s ability to use the device’s camera to redeem iTunes gift cards. Before that, customers had to pick up a physical card featuring a promo code to redeem the Pick of the Week app and manually type the code into the iTunes Store. Earlier this year, Starbucks began offering the promotion via an App Store app. The pick of the week promotion allows customers pickup cards from participating Starbucks locations and download an app or other piece of iTunes media for free:
Jack Dorsey (@jack) August 08, 2012
In an announcement on Square’s website today, CEO Jack Dorsey announced Starbucks signed up to accept payments from customers through the Pay with Square iOS app via Square’s iPhone credit card readers and merchant app. Dorsey also confirmed functionality would roll out to nearly 7,000 Starbucks locations soon, while Starbucks locations will be added to the Square Directory. The Square Directory will also soon be accessible from a number of Starbucks platforms including the Starbucks Digital Network and mobile payment app. Starbucks announced in its own press release that it would invest $25 million in Square, while Starbucks’ chairman, president, and CEO, Howard Schultz, will join Square’s board of directors. On top of credit cards, Starbucks will use Square to handle debit payments, which the company said would reduce overall payment processing costs.
Beginning this fall, in addition to the existing iPhone® and Android™ Starbucks mobile payment applications, Starbucks customers will be able to use Pay with Square to pay for their purchases at participating company operated Starbucks locations in the U.S. Customers simply need to download the Pay with Square application and set up an account on their iPhone® or Android™ device.
More than two-thirds of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S. currently do not accept credit or debit cards, in large part because of the expensive interchange fees associated with payment processing, cumbersome application process and required credit checks. Square enables merchants of any size – from sole proprietors to national retailers – to accept credit and debit cards.
Depending who you ask, the Tyson’s Corner Virginia or Glendale Galleria California Apple stores were the first and second Apple stores to open and have gained landmark status as a result. This week, the LATimes is reported that Apple is opening an Apple Store right across the street from the original Glendale Galleria Store at the new Americana at Brand shopping center. This is notable for at least one of the following two reasons:
- It will be the first time Apple has opened a Store across the street from another Apple Store, which will surely be compared to the absurd density of some Starbucks locations.
- If Apple is instead moving/relocating across the street, it will mean one of Apple’s original Stores will be closed down. That would be especially tragic since many people view the Glendale Galleria Apple Store as the original.
Though the LA Times frames the situation as “An additional Store”, the second option is given some weight as the Nordstom at the Glendale Galleria is closing up shop and moving across the street. Apple is already hiring for positions at the new store… Read more