Apple Watch’s retail sales pitch revealed: 3 key features, switch to iPhone, focus on bands

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With next week’s Apple Watch event fast approaching, Apple has revealed its retail selling strategies to employees, including a focus on “three key features” and a plan to encourage Watch customers to upgrade or switch to new iPhones. According to selling guidelines provided by sources within Apple Retail, Apple believes that “many customers have already decided they want an Apple Watch,” and will use the Watch to “position the benefits” of purchasing a compatible iPhone model. Retail employees have been told to ask customers about their iPhone usage habits, their favorite feature in iOS 8, and if they use health and fitness software on their iPhone…

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Apple puts Environment VP Lisa Jackson in charge of boosting accessibility efforts

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Apple Watch Accessibility Settings

Apple told employees during a week at the flagship Berlin Apple Store in Germany that the company will increase its focus on product accessibility by putting executive Lisa Jackson in charge of the efforts, according to people in attendance. Asked by an Apple Store employee if the Apple Watch will include accessibility features, Cook reportedly replied:

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Tim Cook says Apple Watch will be available outside U.S. in April

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Speaking at the Berlin flagship Apple Store last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees that the Apple Watch will not be exclusive to the United States in April, according to employees in attendance. Specifically, Cook said that the Apple Watch will launch in Germany during the month of April. It’s possible that the Apple Watch will launch first in the United States in early April, with Germany and other countries following later in the month, but it definitely appears that the Watch’s rollout will be more aggressive than the first iPhone and iPad launches…

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch will replace car keyfobs, reward exercise, filter messages

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In an interview with the UK’s Telegraph newspaper, Tim Cook said that while people might see limited reasons to want an Apple Watch today, they will soon find lots of other uses for it. The interview took place during a London stop in Cook’s international tour.

This will be just like the iPhone: people wanted it and bought for a particular reason, perhaps for browsing, but then found out that they loved it for all sorts of other reasons.

One of those reasons, he said, would be to replace your car keyfob …  Read more

Tim Cook’s latest stop in whirlwind international tour: London’s Covent Garden Apple Store

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Tim Cook’s international tour continues. After visiting BILDChancellor Angela Merkel and an Apple Store in Germany, and President Reuven Rivlin in Israel, he was photographed today in the Apple Store in London’s Covent Garden.

Business Insider pulled together a few tweets in which Cook gave Apple Watch demos to surprised customers, and posed for selfies with store employees …  Read more

Tim Cook & Apple Technology VP Johny Srouji visiting Israel today (Photos)

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Apple CEO Tim Cook & Israel President Reuven Rivlin

Apple CEO Tim Cook is continuing his international tour this week with a stop in Israel, The Marker reports. The publication reports that Cook arrived in Israel today and has since met with President Reuven Rivlin (seen above) at his home in Jerusalem; Cook is also expected to meet with former President Shimon Peres during the trip. Alongside Cook for the trip, notably, is Johny Srugi, Apple’s Vice President of Hardware Technologies, a graduate of Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology…

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Tim Cook: Apple Watch will be showerproof, Apple Pay goal for Europe is “end of the year”

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French site iGen is reporting that Tim Cook told an employee in the Kurfürstendamm Apple Store in Berlin that he wears his Apple Watch all the time–”even in the shower.” While Apple has previously mentioned water-resistance, and stated that the S1 innards are “completely encapsulated in resin,” this is the first time we’ve had a specific indication on what that means in practice.

In line with expectations that the watch will only have one day of battery-life, Cook confirmed that he removes it every night to charge …  Read more

Tim Cook met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel during Berlin visit, talked privacy, security & more

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It seems Tim Cook had more on his schedule than a meeting with BILD during his visit to Berlin yesterday: the newspaper reports that he also met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Cook told BILD that they discussed security, net neutrality, environmental protection and education–but the key topic appears to have been data privacy.

Cook said that he could well understand Germany’s strong stance on data privacy, stating that Germans “have the same views on privacy as I do” …  Read more

Happy Hour Podcast 002 | Getting the facts straight about Apple’s mystery car project

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Welcome to the second installment of the revamped Happy Hour podcast. Today we’re talking all about cars. Apple cars. Do they exist? Well, that’s anyone’s guess at this point, but there are a lot of details that line up for this to become a possibility. The Happy Hour podcast is available for download on iTunes and through our dedicated RSS feed…

Click here to subscribe on iTunes or listen to the second episode embedded above.

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Apple reportedly terminated contract w/ Alabama lobbyist over his same-sex marriage opposition

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Tim Cook’s Apple is no stranger to standing up for social issues including marriage equality.

Almost a year ago to date, the company—not just Tim Cook—voiced public opposition to anti-gay legislation in Arizona which was surprisingly vetoed after weeks of public attention. The company also embraced last year’s annual Pride parade in San Francisco with an official video highlighting participation by thousand of employees and family members. There’s also Tim Cook’s widely praised essay published last year in which he first publicly acknowledged being gay—a first for a Fortune 500 chief executive.

So when Apple realized it hired a former politician with a history of promoting anti-gay legislation to lobby on its behalf to the Alabama Congress, it’s no surprise that the company reportedly severed ties with the individual… Read more

Inside Apple’s new offices in Herzliya, Israel [Gallery]

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Apple is opening up a new suite of offices inside Israel this week, with CEO Tim Cook reportedly visiting Israel in part to inaugurate the new workspace. Recent reports have indicated that the offices will hold approximately 800 employees across 180,000 square feet of space.

Today, Israel-based website GSM-Israel has published purported photos of the upcoming new Apple space in Herzliya. The construction, features, and tables are all in line with Apple’s offices in others parts of the world. A full gallery of the new offices can be viewed below.

Apple has a history of working in Israel from purchases of companies like Anobit and PrimeSense, to the construction of research and development offices. Cook has also previously met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During this upcoming visit, Cook will reportedly meet with former President Shimon Peres.

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