Jay Blahnik, one of the lead directors behind the health and fitness functionality in iOS 8 and the Apple Watch, is continuing to host events at Apple Stores. At the end of April, Blahnik held an interview with Christy Turlington Burns at an Apple Store in the United Kingdom, and now Blahnik is making his way to Australia and Asia. Late last week, Blahnik held a Q/A session in Australia with personal trainer Michelle Bridges. Here are videos of Blahnik discussing the importance of walking along with other health tips with Bridges:
We reported last month that Apple was creating Apple Watch displays inside department stores in London and Paris, adding earlier this month that Tokyo was joining the party. All three stores-within-a-store are now official, with entries on Apple’s website. As we previously noted, the locations are Selfridges in London, Galeries Lafayette in Paris and Isetan Shinjuku in Tokyo.
All three are opening on April 10th, the same day Apple Watchs are available for preview and pre-orders in Apple’s own retail stores, and are being given a high-profile presence in each department store … Read more
This render provides our first look at Apple’s plan to build a sizeable new R&D center in Japan. We first heard that Apple would be building a facility “on par with Apple’s biggest R&D centers in Asia” from the Japanese Prime Minister late last year.
Japanese news site NHK reports that the center will be built on the outskirts of Yokohama, the second biggest city in Japan after nearby Tokyo. The city’s mayor announced in a news conference that Apple had purchased the remains of a Panasonic factory on the site, and would be building a 25,000 square meter facility over four floors. The scale of the building would suggest that it could accommodate around several hundred employees, though Apple may of course be allowing for future expansion. Read more
At the Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Apple is building a store specifically for the Apple Watch on the ground floor. Macotakara thinks it might be a permanent fixture because it is listed in the mall directory below.
Japan is one of the 9 countries where the Apple Watch will launch on April 24th. Earlier this week we saw the size of the Apple Watch Store at Galleries Lafayette in Paris and at London Selfridges. Apple also began advertising for its Apple Watch in its traditional stores this week.
This will take some getting used to. Imagine a world where there is an Apple Store on one side of the mall and an Apple Watch store on the other like so many Starbucks. Read more
Apple’s first Tokyo Apple Store opening since 2005 occurred today in the city of Omotesando. The new store features two floors and a fully glass exterior. Apple published a video showing preparations for the store earlier this week. As she promised in a memo to employees earlier today, Angela Ahrendts is on hand for the opening:
After being on the job for approximately a month and a half, new Apple Senior VP of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts has sent her first memo to Apple Retail employees. In the memo, Ahrendts discusses Apple’s culture, her visits to stores thus far, and her plans for the future.
“I have spent most of my time getting to know and understand the many functions and teams in Cupertino, along with our short and long term initiatives. I was thrilled to meet many of you at stores in San Francisco and London this month, and I’m looking forward to Tokyo and the Omotesando opening,” Ahrendts said. “Every couple of weeks, we will be visiting stores across the world to see and learn what we do best and hear your thoughts about opportunities ahead,” she added.
We previously profiled Ahrendts plans for transforming Apple retail with a new end-to-end sales experience, mobile payment initiatives, and an increased emphasis on the Chinese consumer. Today’s memo from Ahrendts to employees reiterates many of these points… Read more
Apple has shared a video on its official YouTube channel of its preparations for the June 13th grand opening of the Omotesando, Tokyo Apple Store. The video is just under a minute long, but it does provide some perspective into the lengths that Apple takes to prepare stores for their openings. You can view the video below:
Last month we showed you the new Apple Store in Portland as well as to soon-to-open location in Madrid, and now photos of a new, multi-level glass Apple Store are starting to surface from Japan. The gigantic retail location is located on the Omotesando avenue alongside several other flagship retailers and is set to open to the public on Friday, June 13th, as invitations to attend the day one experience have already been sent out. More photos below… Read more
In April 2013, when WWDC sold out in a matter of minutes, Apple said that they would hold tech talks later in the year. Apple has now sent out the details for these events, with a clear focus on getting developers up to speed with iOS 7.
The talks are going to be held in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Berlin and London. Unusually, Apple is holding two events in each city this year, one for app development and one dedicated to game development. Topics revolve around the new API’s in iOS 7, to further encourage developer adoption of the new technologies. The talks are being held across October, November and December.
Registered developers must apply by September 27th 2013, if they want to attend. Developers can attend either the app developer day or the game developer day, not both.
Hardcore iPhone fans in Japan already queuing for the 5s and 5c going on sale on Friday weren’t going to be put off by a mere typhoon (hurricane) warning: they continued their vigil outside Tokyo’s Ginza store. Apple Store staff opened the doors at 7.30am, shortly before the typhoon hit, to bring customers inside, reports Kotaku.
They were allowed to bring in their wet possessions, rest in the Apple Store theater until 10am, and were even given bottled water. “I was so moved how Apple treats its customers,” said YouTube user AppTaylor
Video below the fold … Read more
Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning its first new store in Tokyo since 2005.
Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, according to a person familiar with the plans.
Construction is scheduled to be completed by February, the person said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak for Apple.
Tokyo is noted for its high land values. Bloomberg estimating the cost of the land at around $164M with the finished store expected to be worth a staggering $256M … Read more
Update: The reporters at Bloomberg are somehow using us as a source for this false rumor. We’ve contacted them to correct but they’ve so far left it untouched. Our report comes from iFoAppleStore and CultofMac (below)
Updated from Cult of Mac: Apple has gotten back to us a statement, reading: “The search for a replacement for Ron Johnson continues, and Apple has nothing to announce about this subject at this time.”
Updated: 2: Apple wanted to make sure it was clear that no decision has been made yet and the Cult of Mac story is without merit.
Ron Johnson has only been gone a few days but rumors are already swirling that Steve Cano will be replacing the new JCPenney CEO as head of Apple’s retail business. Cult of Mac reports separately from an earlier post by ifoAppleStore’s Gary Allen which seems to indicate that Cano will assume the position. Here is the full statement as released by the Apple Retail Workers Union:
Statement regarding Steve Jobs and the future of Apple
by Apple Retail Workers Union on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 2:06am
The organizers of the Apple Retail Workers Union wish to express their condolences to the family of Steve Jobs. He was an inspiration to many, and will be regarded as one of the greats of our time. He followed his heart and did what he loved, which resulted in Apple becoming one of the greatest companies in the world. He surrounded himself with intelligent people who helped create technology that improved the way we live and share our lives.
With that in mind, we want to remind that while Steve and his teams created products and solutions to work “right out of the box”, Apple’s retail stores are still experiencing problems 10 years after launch. The messages we receive from workers illustrate a desire for improved compensation, consistent management policies and adherence to local, state and national laws. The feeling extends to the workers at Apple’s suppliers including Foxconn, Wintek, Samsung and others.
We wish much success to Tim Cook and Steve Cano, who will be leading Apple and its retail stores going forward. As word of our movement grows and workers become increasingly interested in finding solutions where management is unwilling or unable, we continue to take pride in the opportunity we have every day to provide our customers with enriching experiences. At our core, we simply want Apple to return to its roots and remind itself that their “most important resource… is our people”.
We can’t confirm that Cano has been promoted and in fact his role is still listed as Apple retail employee in Region XV. He’s certainly in the running, as one of Ron Johnson’s subordinates.
Cano started with Apple ten years ago as the manager of Steve Jobs’s local Palo Alto Apple Store. He then rose through the ranks…