13th anniversary of first Apple Store: risky gamble to most profitable retail space in the world

Today marks the 13th anniversary of Apple’s retail stores, the first ever store having opened at 10am on 19th May 2001 at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia. The video above shows Steve Jobs giving a preview of the store six days before it opened, and below the fold you can see an animated GIF of the growth of the U.S. stores since then.

Amazing as it seems today, the move was considered at the time to be a risky gamble, with critics arguing that they couldn’t possibly make money. Businessweek ran a story entitled Sorry Steve, Here’s Why Apple Stores Won’t Work and TheStreet.com agreed in a piece headlined Apple’s Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel …  Read more

Apple and Beats not such strange bedfellows, argues Bloomberg

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Steve Jobs and Jimmy Iovine in 2008 (Photo: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty Images)

A Bloomberg analysis of the presumed acquisition of Beats Electronics by Apple says that while the two companies may have very different cultures, the partnership is not so strange as it might first appear.

“These aren’t strange bedfellows at all,” said Peter Csathy, chief executive officer of entertainment law firm Manatt Digital Media Ventures. “Steve Jobs really drove the relationship with the music industry. The executives at Apple and Beats know each other very well, and there’s a comfort level there” …

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Steve Jobs named #1 in CNBC’s list of the most influential leaders in the past 25 years

Steve Jobs has been ranked #1 in CNBC’s First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders, described as “a definitive list of people who have had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century.”

Steve Jobs earned the top spot for both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live [...]

More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives—all outstanding leaders—his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture … 

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Sony eyes Danny Boyle as Steve Jobs biopic director, Leonardo DiCaprio to star

DiCaprio and Boyle on the set of the 2000 film "The Beach"

DiCaprio and Boyle on the set of the 2000 film “The Beach”

With David Fincher recently rejected to direct the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin, Sony may have found its replacement in Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle, according to The Hollywood Reporter. And with the lead role still not cast, Sony is reportedly considering tapping Leonardo DiCaprio to play Steve Jobs.

The film was first announced by Sony in mid-2012. Screenwriter Sorkin later revealed that the movie would focus on Jobs’ preparations in the thirty minutes leading up to three key Apple keynotes—a much different approach last year’s Jobs, which starred Ashton Kutcher. There have not been many updates on the project’s progress until recently, with the announcement that Fincher (and his choice for lead actor, Christian Bale) would not be part of the production going forward.

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Death of Steve Jobs prompted Samsung’s U-turn on Apple attack ads

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We learned yesterday from patent trial evidence that Samsung was worried about running ads that directly attacked Apple, wanting Google to do it for them. We now know that it was the death of Steve Jobs which prompted Samsung’s change of mind, running the Next Big Thing ads which directly mocked Apple customers.

An email trail shows that Samsung America’s VP of U.S. sales Mike Pennington cynically described the death of Jobs as “the best opportunity” to run the campaign, as consumers might be worried about Apple’s future product innovations following the death of its famous co-founder.

Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone …

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Jony Ive shakes up Apple’s software design group, iPhone interface creator Greg Christie departing

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Following friction between top Apple Human Interface Vice President Greg Christie and Senior Vice President Jony Ive, Apple’s hardware and software design is being dramatically shaken up, according to sources familiar with the matter. After adding human interface design direction to his responsibilities in 2012, Ive will soon completely subsume Apple’s software design group, wresting control away from long-time human interface design chief Christie, according to sources briefed on the matter. Previous to this shakeup, all Apple software design has been led by Christie, who has reported to Craig Federighi, and Ive has been attending interface design meetings and providing instruction…

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Steve Jobs in 2010 on Apple TV’s future: Magic Wand, apps, Web browser

An interesting email chain between Steve Jobs and various Apple executives has surfaced via court records for the latest spat between Apple and Samsung. Our earlier article on the matter detailed some parts of the email in which Jobs revealed roadmap plans for 2011 and some of 2012. The discussions were a preview of what was to be discussed at an off-site for Apple’s “Top 100″ employees. Presentations regarding the yet-to-be-announced iPad 2, iPad 3, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, Verizon iPhone 4, Apple Campus 2, and iCloud took place, but the talking points regarding Apple TV deserve a closer look in light of recent rumors of an imminent update

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New Steve Jobs email a treasure trove of information about Apple TV, Google ‘holy war,’ and behind-the-scenes strategy

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A new email from Steve Jobs that was published during today’s Samsung lawsuit (via The Verge) has revealed a lot about Apple’s plans for its products in 2011 and beyond. As we’ve previously noted, Jobs referred to 2011 as a year of “holy war” against Google, but this document goes above that and describes how exactly Apple planned to wage this war.

A few choice bits are below, followed by the complete email.

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This is the room where the iPhone was born

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Ahead of the latest Apple-Samsung trial, Apple is sharing some of the details regarding the creation of the iPhone with the WSJ. As an aside, Apple also shared a shot of the secret windowless room where the original iPhone meetings took place. The nondescript room is where most of the design decisions for the original iPhone’s software were made and is called “hallowed ground” to Greg Christie, who designs the software interface for products and one of the first members recruited to work on the device in 2004.

It doesn’t mean that the windowless room, lit by fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling, looked like anything special. Christie recalled the walls had signs of water damage from a flood in an adjacent bathroom. A few images covered the walls including one of Apple’s “Think Different” posters of famous graphic designer Paul Rand and another of a large chicken running around without its head.

Inspiration comes in many forms.

Apple may be sharing this information to drum up public support before the trial. Or, perhaps more likely, Apple knows this information will come out in the trial and wants to “own” the story beforehand.

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Apple engineer Greg Christie discusses the process of creating the original iPhone

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Apple made Greg Christie, one of its original iPhone engineers, available before yet another round of patent fights with Samsung, allowing Christie to further expand on the stories of the iPhone’s secretive development under then-CEO Steve Jobs in a report by the Wall Street Journal. While some of what Christie said isn’t new information, there are some interesting anecdotes near the end of his interview.

For example, in 2005—two years before the Apple went public with the iPhone—Christie’s team was responsible for planning how the device would look and work. When the team found itself floundering and unable to settle on how the phone should work, Christie was told that his team could either figure it out over the next two weeks or be moved to another project so someone else could solve the problems.

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‘Jobs’ biopic starring Ashton Kutcher now available on Netflix

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Update: Not so fast. Despite Netflix promoting the movie on Twitter and it being available earlier, it’s currently no longer available. We’ve reached out to Netflix for more information.

Update 2: Netflix tells me that Jobs “will be back on soon.”

Update 3: Netflix tells me an issue with subtitles led to it being pulled and it should be resolved now.

If you haven’t seen Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs yet or just want to catch the film again, Netflix now features ‘Jobs’ in its catalog of streaming movies and TV shows for subscribers. Netflix of course offers streaming to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users in addition to Apple and Mac users for $7.99 a month.

The biopic featuring Kutcher was released to mixed reviews, and our own Michael Steeber shared his thoughts on the film in 9to5Mac‘s review of Jobs.

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