Tim Cook: Apple Watch in stores ‘by June’, in talks for Apple Pay in China

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During his trip last week across China, Apple CEO Tim Cook held a meeting at Apple’s China headquarters with several employees in attendance, according to sources with knowledge of the briefing. Cook reportedly reiterated several recent China-focused announcements, including the new forest-focused environmental initiatives and improvements for education, but he also mentioned some new tidbits regarding the upcoming retail launch for the Apple Watch and the rollout of Apple Pay for China…

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Apple CEO Tim Cook shares photos from recent trip to China (Gallery)

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Tim Cook has shared photos from his recent trip to China where the Apple CEO spoke to media about upcoming initiatives in the country and visited new Apple retail stores opened in the region. The photos (above and below) were posted to Cook’s new Weibo account. The head Apple exec started posting to the Chinese microblogging site, much like he does on Twitter, earlier this month. Read more

Tim Cook talks Apple Pay, Xiaomi, new environmental efforts during China visit

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Tim Cook, who is in China this week to discuss Apple’s new environmental initiatives, spoke to Chinese media regarding his plans to further expand Apple services in the country. Speaking to news outlet Xinhua, Cook discussed a variety of topics, including his hope to launch Apple Pay in China and get a smartphone in the hand of every resident.

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Tim Cook opens account on Chinese social network Weibo during Beijing trip

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With Apple now selling more iPhones in China than in the USA, and much of Apple’s Q2 earnings call focused on the country, it’s no great surprise that Tim Cook has today opened an account on the Chinese equivalent of Twitter known as Weibo. There is, though, a certain amount of irony involved, Weibo being one of the main sources of leaked information on Apple products.

Cook is in Beijing to announce Apple’s new environmental programs in the country, the topic of his first post.

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At the time of writing, the verified account already had over 300,000 followers, with almost 50,000 likes on his first post …  Read more

Tim Cook charity auction raises $200,000 for RFK human rights campaign

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What can $200,000 get you in 2015? Lunch with the CEO of the most valuable company in the world and two tickets to be his VIP guest at a future Apple keynote. That’s how much Tim Cook and Charitybuzz raised at auction today as the weeks-long fundraiser came to a close after the starting bid began at $10,000 — the starting price of the 18k gold Apple Watch Edition — in mid-April… Read more

Apple CEO Tim Cook on why he’s still optimistic about the iPad despite significant decline in sales

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Tim Cook has once again defended the iPad in the face of continued falling sales, arguing that the “underlying data” paints a more positive picture than the pure sales numbers, and predicting that there will be future iPad growth.

As Quartz noted, the 23% year-on-year fall in iPad shipments to 12.6M means that iPad revenue actually dropped below Mac revenue for the second time since 2011. Cook again acknowledged that other Apple products cannibalize iPad sales, the iPhone 6 Plus a strong competitor on one side and the MacBook Air and new 12-inch MacBook on the other, but said that there were a number of reasons to be positive about the future of the iPad …  Read more

Apple aiming to launch Apple Watch in second-wave of countries by late June

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Apple CEO Tim Cook announced during the company’s Q2 earnings call this evening that he anticipates Apple Watch will launch in additional countries by late June. As of right now, Apple Watch is only available in 9 countries. A report earlier this month claimed that Apple would launch Watch in a second-wave of countries on May 8th, but we quickly debunked that rumor.

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Live blog: Apple’s fiscal year Q2 2015 earnings call

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As promised, Apple will hold its quarterly conference call with investors and analysts at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET to discuss its fiscal year 2015 second quarter results. These numbers include sales of 61.1 million iPhones, 12.6 million iPads, and 4.5 million Macs. Apple also reported $58 billion in revenue during FY 2015 Q2. During the latter half of the call, analysts and investors will have the opportunity to ask Tim Cook and company questions regarding today’s results and Apple’s future. While today’s earnings do not include Apple Watch sales and Apple doesn’t plan to disclose sales numbers, expect Tim Cook to at mention the company’s latest device. Stay tuned for our live coverage below:

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Soft launch: Why the Apple Watch isn’t getting the ‘blockbuster’ debut it deserves

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It’s no secret that Apple’s launch plan for the Apple Watch hasn’t gone as well as the original iPhone and iPad launches.

Extremely limited supplies have led to long wait times for pre-orders. The lineup of choices is so complex that the company needed to give people weeks to try them on in stores before they were supposed to be available. And the confusing online-only purchase process advertised in Apple’s retail stores didn’t initially disclose that stores won’t have any units in stock on launch day. No part of the process has thrilled potential customers.

Yesterday, Apple’s SVP of Retail Angela Ahrendts sent an internal video memo to employees about the Apple Watch rollout in an attempt to help answer questions and assuage concerns about the many issues plaguing the launch, not the least of which is the lack of a “blockbuster launch” at retail outlets that customers and employees alike have come to expect from Apple. Some people took the video as an admission of guilt by Ahrendts. But although she may share responsibility for some of Apple’s missteps, she isn’t solely or even largely responsible for the issues.

Here’s where I believe things fell apart during this launch…

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Ex-Apple SVP Scott Forstall is now a producer on a Broadway musical

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Less than 24 hours after a report surfaced revealing Scott Forstall began serving as an advisor to Snapchat last year, the former iOS chief has announced via his Twitter account an unrelated project: a Broadway musical.

I’m thrilled to be co-producing the Broadway musical Fun Home opening this Sunday. Bravo to the phenomenal team!

The announcement is especially notable as it marks the first time the former Apple executive has surfaced in public since his ousting at Apple under current CEO Tim Cook in late 2012. Read more

Tim Cook says Apple Watch “orders are great” in visit to Palo Alto Apple Store, wears custom watch with red crown

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Tim Cook visited the Palo Alto Apple Store today to check out the Apple Watch buzz, as people around the world attend try-on appointments and (failed to) pre-order Apple Watch online. In an interview with CNBC, Cook said that customer response has been extraordinary and “orders are great”.

The interviewer asks Cook what he wears day-to-day. Cook says he swaps out bands depending on the occasion but likes the Apple Watch stainless steel with the white rubber Sport band. Weirdly, Cook’s watch features a custom red crown that is usually only found on certain Apple Watch Edition models. Photo below …

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