Apple’s Ahrendts to oversee slew of new China, Italy, U.S. stores as organizational restructuring planned

Seeking to enhance Apple’s retail store divison and bring the customer experience to higher levels, new Apple Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores Angela Ahrendts is planning a fundamental restructuring of Apple’s retail stores as she prepares a series of new store openings across the globe for the second half of 2014 and first half of 2015…

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Apple looks to boost iPhone sales in stores with new pre-paid & month-to-month plans

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Apple is preparing to enhance its Apple Store-based iPhone sales operations in the United States around pre-paid and month-to-month plans in order boost sales, according to a source briefed on the upcoming initiatives. For the first time in U.S. Apple Stores, customers will be able to purchase an iPhone at full-price and then connect the phone to a pre-paid plan or a month-to-month plan within the store. Previously, iPhone customers could only buy full-priced iPhones as unlocked devices then connect the devices to pre-paid plans or month-to-month plans via a previously purchased SIM-card or through a carrier store…

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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

AT&T announces rollout of voice-over-LTE ahead of likely iPhone 6/iOS 8 integration this fall

United States-based carrier AT&T today officially announced its rollout of voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) calls. The VoLTE rollout comes in tandem with AT&T HD Voice launch, which provides better sounding phone calls. Starting on May 23rd, IllinoisIndianaMinnesota and Wisconsin will be the initially supported markets for these features, but AT&T says to expect a more complete rollout as time goes on:

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Apple plans ‘enormous’ iPhone upgrade event this week to boost sales

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Apple is planning to hold an “enormous” iPhone-related event in its stores this week in order to boost sales, according to a source with knowledge of the initiative. Beginning May 8th, the source said, Apple will be contacting upgrade-eligible iPhone users with older iPhone models via email to come into their local Apple Store to update to a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c…

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iTunes Festival channel shows up on Apple TV ahead of SXSW concerts

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Ahead of this upcoming week’s iTunes Festival concert series at SXSW, Apple has added an iTunes Festival channel to the Apple TV so that users can live stream the concert’s content. Late last week, Apple released an updated version of the iTunes Festival application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The Apple TV application is similar in style to the iOS app, and it includes a colorful logo…

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Apple bringing iTunes Festival to the US for the first time at SXSW, for five nights in March

Image via The Loop

Apple has announced that it is bringing the iTunes Festival to the United States for the first time, after being a UK-only event since it began in 2007. The festival will be held at SXSW from March 11th to March 15th, at the Moody Theater.

The show will feature chart-topping acts from Coldplay, Imagine Dragons, Pitbull and ZEDD with more announcements to follow. Just like the UK event, anyone can stream the event for free from their iOS devices, Macs as well as Apple TV.

In the press release, Cue said that the event is a way of sharing Apple’s love of music with customers.

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Apple’s iTunes Radio launches internationally, starting with Australia

iTunes Radio

Apple has finally taken its iTunes Radio streaming music service internationally: starting with Australia. The service, which launched in the United States late last year, works on iPads, iPhones, iPods running iOS 7, the Apple TV, and on iTunes 11 on the Mac or PC.

Apple® today announced iTunes Radio™ is now available to music fans in Australia. iTunes Radio is a free Internet radio service featuring over 100 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes® can deliver. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch®, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalized your experience becomes. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “First Play” premieres from top selling artists, plus the ability to tag or buy anything you hear with just one click.

Like in the United States, iTunes Radio in Australia is supported by advertisements. However, iTunes Match subscribers can listen to iTunes Radio without ads. Apple is yet to announce any other international iTunes Radio countries, but evidence and reports suggest that Canada, New Zealand, and some European countries will be gaining the feature soon.

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