Paris Stories January 11, 2016

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French Apple news site MacGeneration today reports that Apple is soon planning to open a new flagship retail store in Paris, France, citing French newspaper Le Figaro. The report claims that Apple has secured a lease for a 20,341-square-feet seven story building at 114 Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The company plans to operate a retail store on the lower levels of the building, while the upper levels will be reserved for office space.

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Paris Stories November 15, 2015

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Apple has acknowledged the recent terrorism attacks in Paris with a commemorative ribbon on the Apple France homepage, www.apple.com/fr. The black ribbon is a sign of remembrance and mourning; Google has also added the symbol to its homepage in response to the attacks.

In addition, Apple has been contacting affected employees in French Apple retail stores to check they are safe.

Paris Stories May 26, 2015

Maps Transit

While Apple plans to debut its own mass transit directions service for Maps in iOS 9 as soon as June, the rollout will not be as ambitious as some users may have hoped. In its first iteration, Apple’s Transit service will only support approximately a half-dozen cities across the United States, Canada, and Europe, in addition to China, according to sources…

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Paris Stories April 9, 2015

Tim Cook reported to be in Paris, likely for Apple Watch launch in Galeries Lafayette (update: or not)

Update: Another French site, Macplus, says it has “confirmation” that Cook will not be in Paris tomorrow, but does not state a source for this.

Mac4Ever is reporting that Apple CEO Tim Cook is in Paris, likely for the Apple Watch launch in the upmarket Galeries Lafayette department store. The Apple Watch section of the store spans four balconies and is set for its grand opening at 9am tomorrow.

The similar section within the Selfridges department store in London opens the same day, and with the two cities just a 45-minute flight (or 2 hour train away, it seems likely Cook will put in an appearance there too. Visits to nearby Apple Stores in both cities also seem a reasonable bet, London’s Regent Street store is very close to Selfridges.

The watch saw mixed reviews yesterday, with the general consensus that it was easily the best smartwatch on the market but suffered from a number of usability issues–and several reviewers were still trying to figure out whether it really had a useful role to play in their daily lives.

Paris Stories March 27, 2015

selfridges

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 LondonGaleries 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 …  expand full story

Paris Stories March 13, 2015

Photos show size of upcoming Apple Watch display at Galeries Lafayette in Paris

When the Apple Watch goes on display next month ahead of its launch, it won’t just be available to preview in Apple Stores. The company shared on Monday that three cities around the world — namely Paris, Tokyo, and London — will present the Watch outside of Apple’s own retail stores where people can preview and try on the new wearable. Newly captured photos now show early construction at one of those venues, revealing just how big the presentation area will be.

Paris Stories March 1, 2015

Selfridges_London Over the past week, we’ve heard rumors that Apple planned “pop up” stores for displaying the new Apple Watch inside high end stores in both Paris Galeries Lafayette and London Selfridges (pictured above). Now the Austin Statesman notes that Apple has participated in SXSW in a number of ways over the past few years and it would almost be surprising if the Apple Watch wasn’t displayed in some capacity to the international SXSW Interactive audience there. Apple set up a pop-up shop for the iPad 2 during its spring launch in 2011 (pictured right).

inside-apple-pop-up-austinApple has used the festival in the past to showcase a new product (like the iPad 2) or to promote its services (like the iTunes Music Festival last year). SXSW Interactive is the perfect audience of early adopters for a product like the Apple Watch and it wouldn’t be surprising if the company offered a preview of the device there.

SXSW is an annual Music/Film/Interactive conference that runs March 13th-22nd this year, the week following the March 9th event and before the Apple Watch goes on sale in April. One SXSW event Apple Watch enthusiasts may want to check out: Wearables and the Happiness Quotient.

A possible counter-argument to an Apple Watch presence that Apple has focused on Fashion audiences and not Tech audiences for the Apple Watch launch.

Apple also plans another showcase of the Apple watch outside of the Yerba Buena Center where it will hold its Spring Forward event on March 9th.

Paris Stories February 27, 2015

Apple Watch Edition again showcased by Vogue, this time in Paris issue

Apple is set to give the Apple Watch one more big event on March 9th before its debut in April, but the fashion world’s go to magazine Vogue is continuing to prominently feature the Watch before it goes on sale to the public. French site Mac4ever first shared photos from the Paris edition of Vogue magazine featuring two shots of the 18k gold Apple Watch Edition being modeled in black and white photos.

Paris Stories February 19, 2015

Apple Watch hands on table from September

Apple Watch <a href="http://arstechnica.com">hands-on table</a> from September Media Event

According to multiple reports out of France, Apple is constructing a dedicated display for the upcoming Apple Watch in some upscale Paris-based retail outlets. The reports say that the size of the display is close to the length of a few small balconies and that Apple Retail Senior Vice President Angela Ahrendts has been directing the construction of the booth at retailer Galeries Lafayette on Champs Elysees. While these claims for France are still unconfirmed, sources have told us that Apple is considering constructing dedicated Apple Watch retail stores in the future if demand deems such outlets necessary…

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Paris Stories September 30, 2014

Want to get the feel of your own Apple Watch today? Print your own …

Ok, a solid chunk of plastic might not be very functional, and the finish doesn’t quite compare with that of the real thing, but if you’re really keen to get a sense of what the Apple Watch might be like on your wrist – and which of the two sizes might be right for you – you can now create a 3D-printed model.

Concept designer Martin Hajek is offering “highly detailed” 3D-printing models compatible with most 3D printers, including Makerbot and Ultimaker. The models include both 38mm and 42mm sizes so you can see which best fits your wrist.

The download file will cost you 35 bucks. If you don’t have your own 3D printer, you may be able to find one near you thanks to companies like UPS and Staples offering their own 3D printing services – and you can search for individuals and small businesses on the Makexyz site.

The real thing is currently on display at a Paris fashion retailer, with whispers that Apple may be aiming to have it on sale by Valentine’s Day. Third-party companies have already started offering accessories for the device.

Paris Stories September 29, 2014

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Is that Jony Ive and Marc Newson at the top right?

Update: Both relevant photos have since been removed from Instagram.

Following a report earlier today that Apple and French fashion retailer Colette were teasing a one day in-store experience, there’s now more evidence the collaboration might be for Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch. It appears that Apple’s design team could also be headed to the event or at least to the same city, lending more weight to the idea that Apple Watch is about to get some stage time during Paris Fashion Week. expand full story

Paris Stories September 23, 2014

Apple to open its 14th German retail store in Hannover this Saturday September 27th at 10am

After 17 months of construction and  delays, Apple has made it official: the Hannover Germany Store will open this Saturday at 10am local time. The multi-level store will be the 14th Apple retail venue in Germany and will be modelled similar to the Opera Paris Store which opened in 2010. The Bahnhofstrasse 5 location is in a pedestrian zone only few meters from Hannover Central Station and just off the popular shopping promenade “Niki de Saint Phalle“. As always, there will be a free, specially printed Apple Store T-shirts for the first visitors.

If you are in Germany and want to knock out two birds with one stone, you can reserve an iPhone for the Hannover Store here.

Thanks for all of the Tips/More at German language: iFun, Apfelpage, MacLife.de, Macerkopf, MacTechNewsmore (images: Getty)

Paris Stories August 6, 2014

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Apple has just made another significant hire from the global fashion industry: Yves Saint Laurent’s Europe President and Retail Head Catherine Monier. Sources say that Monier left the Paris, France-based fashion icon earlier this summer and that she started at Apple within the last few weeks. The sources added that former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, who joined Apple last year to work on “Special Projects” under Apple CEO Tim Cook, was behind the hire and that Monier will work on Deneve’s team…

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Paris Stories July 7, 2014

Just over a week ago, thousands of Apple employees, including CEO Tim Cook, took to the streets of San Francisco to take part in the Pride Parade. The company has not been hesitant to share its views on LGBT rights, and the parade was yet another instance of that. This evening, Apple uploaded a video to its official YouTube channel showing off all of the effort that went into the Pride Parade last week and its “unwavering” support for equality and diversity.

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Paris Stories October 28, 2013

Apple ordered to pay 12 million euros in France for unpaid iPad taxes

Earlier this year we reported that SACEM, the French society of authors, composers, and music publishers, noted Apple was ordered to pay around 5 million Euro in unpaid taxes for iPads sold in 2011. SACEM distributes the copie privée royalties, which are paid to Copie France for all devices capable of transferring and displaying copyrighted material. Today, PC INpact (via igen.fr) notes that a court in Paris has once again ordered Apple to pay for unpaid iPad taxes, this time around 12 million Euros for iPads sold between March and December of 2012. Some think Apple’s recent price increases in France could be to compensate for the copie privee taxes it hasn’t had success with avoiding. When asked about the price increases, French authorities were recently quoted as saying Apple has has yet to pay a penny towards the unpaid taxes. 

Paris Stories August 28, 2013

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Tokyo skyline: vacationadvice101.com

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 …  expand full story

Paris Stories May 9, 2013

3D-Flyover-Paris-FranceApple has steadily been making improvements to its Maps data following a controversial launch. Last year Apple pushed out major updates to its 3D Maps coverage, adding a number of new cities in the US, UK, France, and Canada, while just last March it quietly pushed out some big improvements to Maps data in Japan. Today our friends over at igen.fr point out that Apple has just pushed out another big update to its 3D Flyover mode, this time bringing new content to more locations across France. Some of the new coverage areas include Paris, Versailles, Aulnay-sous-Bois, Disneyland Paris and to The Hay-les-Roses. Currently, Apple only lists support for 3D building coverage for Lyon, France.

We can’t be sure that France is the only location to get new 3D Maps data today, so let us know in the comments if you notice any additions in your city.

In somewhat related Maps news, TechCrunch has confirmed earlier reports coming from Israeli publication Calcalist that Facebook is currently in discussions with mapping company Waze to acquire the company for close to $1 billion. You might recall that Apple is currently using Waze data in its Maps application and for a brief while was rumored to be in talks to acquire the company. Apple could presumably replace Waze’s free crowd-sourced map data with another Maps provider that offers similar data, but it’s unclear at this point how important Waze is as a Maps source or if an acquisition might affect Apple’s Maps app.

Paris Stories January 1, 2013

Armed robbers hit Paris Opera Apple Store, initial reports put heist at over $1.3M

DailyMail reported today that Apple’s flagship retail store in France was the victim of an organized robbery. The crime apparently took place last night around 9 p.m. local time, three hours after the store closed for the day, with the suspects taking off with a reported £1 million in products. The masked, handgun-toting thieves were able to make off with the products before police arrived and have yet to be located. One security guard was “lightly injured” in the process:

Christophe Crepin, an Unsa police union official, told Le Parisien newspaper that ‘the four hooded and heavily armed criminals made their move very quickly. Most of the police forces were being mobilised to monitor the Champs Elysees, so the robbers have clearly benefitted from this opportunity to strike.’

Mr Crepin said the robbers mainly took ‘a lot of goods’ and very little money. Early estimates were that the haul was worth well over 1 million euros, or close to 1 million pounds.

Le Figaro noted that the €1 Million figure has not been verified.

Paris Stories December 5, 2012

Former Apple execs Pascal Cagni, Tony Fadell, and others talk Apple at LeWeb (Video)

The LeWeb conference is running Dec. 4 through Dec. 6 in Paris, and father of the iPod and Nest creator Tony Fadell sat down yesterday to talk about Nest, product design, and the company’s future plans to bring Nest to 500 retail shops starting with Canada. Of course, as usual, Fadell’s former employer Apple was a topic of conversation. Fadell talked a little bit about what he learned from Steve Jobs in terms of product design, and he talked about his time at Philips compared to Apple and Nest.

Another interesting guest that made an appearance is Apple’s former Vice President and General Manager for Europe, Middle East, and Africa Pascal Cagni. He resigned in May. Pascal talked about his time at Apple and his former role at the company. He also talked about his working relationship with Jobs, his continued admiration for the company, and secrecy at Apple. The full video is below:

Paris Stories July 6, 2012

Report: Assault rifle wielding assailants botch Apple truck robbery in France

According to a report from AFP picked up by a number of local French websites, including Nowhereelse.fr and Leparisien.fr, a truckload of Apple products traveling through Aulnay-sous-Bois in Paris this morning was taken over at gunpoint by several masked assailants carrying assault rifles. Fortunately, no one appeared to be badly hurt. Police later recovered the products, but the suspects are still on the loose:

Two drivers of a truck carrying hardware Apple were attacked Friday morning around 5 am 45 by several men armed in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint-Denis). The perpetrators – who are three or four according to preliminary results of the survey – are mounted on the truck and drove off with the drivers they have released in a wood Luzarches, in the Val d’Oise.

According to AFP, they were in possession of assault rifles, Kalashnikov or M16. This is in Les Mureaux, near Paris, the police located the truck. It was at that time that two people trying to unload the goods have fled. Shortly before 11 o’clock, the police investigators were conducting scientific surveys on the vehicle of gray.

Paris Stories May 23, 2012

Seagate buys long time Mac peripheral maker LaCie for roughly $186 million

Seagate announced its plans to buy LaCie, a Paris-based maker of various data storage products that are popular among Mac users, this morning. LaCie makes various products aimed at Mac users including a couple Thunderbolt enabled solutions that we showed you recently. Seagate will buy the 64.5-percent of the company currently held by CEO Philippe Spruch—and the rest in cash upon completion of that transaction (via Forbes):

Seagate Technology plc the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A. a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie.The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products.

SEAGATE AND LACIE ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE AGREEMENT WITH INTENT FOR SEAGATE TO ACQUIRE CONTROLLING INTEREST IN LACIE

May 23, 2012

Seagate has Offered to Purchase LaCie CEO’s 64.5% Ownership Position; Seagate to Subsequently Commence Tender Offer for Remaining Outstanding Shares

Expands Seagate’s Product Line and Capabilities in the Growing Consumer Storage Market

CUPERTINO, CA and PARIS, FRANCE – May 23, 2012 – Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) the worldwide leader in hard disk drives and storage solutions, and LaCie S.A. (Euronext: LAC), a leading manufacturer of consumer storage products, today announced an exclusive agreement with the intent for Seagate to acquire a controlling interest in LaCie. Seagate has offered to purchase from Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO, and his affiliate, all of their shares, representing 64.5% of the outstanding shares of LaCie. Following receipt of governmental approvals and the close of this transaction, Seagate would commence an all-cash simplified tender offer (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure) to acquire the remaining outstanding shares in accordance with the General Regulation of the French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

Seagate has offered Mr. Spruch and his affiliate €4.05 per share in cash, minus a potential adjustment depending on the cash and debt position of LaCie at closing. This price may be increased by a possible price supplement of 3% in the event that the threshold of 95% of the shares and voting rights of LaCie would be reached by Sparrow within 6 months following closing, resulting in a maximum potential price per LaCie share of €4.17. Without the price supplement, the offer currently values LaCie at an approximate €146 million, or $186 million total equity value, including acquired net cash of approximately €49 million, or $65 million, as of March 31, 2012. The €4.05 per share price represents a premium of 29% to LaCie’s average closing stock price over the 30 trading days ended May 22, 2012.

Ricol Lasteyrie & Associés was appointed today as independent expert by the board of directors of LaCie, to deliver a fairness opinion on the price that would be offered in the context of the tender offer, including in the perspective of a potential squeeze-out procedure.

The transaction would combine two highly complementary product and technology portfolios, adding LaCie’s line of premium branded consumer storage solutions, network-attached storage solutions and software offerings to Seagate’s array of mainstream consumer storage products. The combination would accelerate Seagate’s growth strategy in the expanding consumer storage market, particularly in Europe and Japan, and add strong engineering and software development capabilities, as well as relationships with several key retailers.

The transaction is expected to be neutral to Seagate’s fiscal 2013 earnings per share.

Following the close of the sale of his shares to Seagate, Mr. Spruch would join Seagate and lead the company’s consumer storage products organization. Reporting to him would be Patrick Connolly, who currently serves as vice president and general manager of Seagate’s retail group, as well as Pierre van der Elst, who currently serves as deputy general manager of LaCie. The financial terms of the new position of Mr Spruch are not determined as of today and would therefore be described subsequently, including in the tender offer documentation.

“Seagate has a strong commitment to the growing consumer storage market and bringing the most dynamic products to market. LaCie has built an exceptional consumer brand by delivering exciting and innovative high-end products for many years. This transaction would bring a highly complementary set of capabilities to Seagate, significantly expand our consumer product offerings, add a premium-branded direct-attached storage line, strengthen our network-attached storage business line and enhance our capabilities in software development,” said Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO. “We are also excited that Philippe, who is a true visionary and leader in the consumer storage business, would join Seagate to run our consumer storage products organization.”

“With the proliferation of devices and content being shared and stored today, consumer demand for high-quality branded storage solutions continues to grow,” said Philippe Spruch, LaCie’s chairman and CEO. “We are excited about the potential for this combination to benefit customers and employees by creating significant scale and opening up new markets. We look forward to making the resources of a much larger company available to our customers around the world.”

LaCie will initiate the information and consultation process required by its employee representative council in relation to the contemplated transaction, in accordance with French law. Upon completion of this process, Seagate and Mr. Spruch would execute a definitive share purchase agreement and finalize the purchase of the controlling interest held by Mr. Spruch and his affiliate. This share purchase transaction is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2012 pending completion of the relevant governmental reviews. Seagate would then commence a tender offer for the remaining outstanding shares of LaCie (followed as the case may be by a squeeze-out procedure), subject to a clearance decision from the AMF. The tender offer is expected to be completed in the third calendar quarter of 2012.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval in the United States (antitrust filing), France (approval of foreign investments by the Ministry of Finance) and other jurisdictions (antitrust filing in Germany) and to other customary closing conditions.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC served as financial advisor and Allen & Overy LLP served as legal advisor to Seagate in connection with the transaction. De Pardieu Brocas Maffei A.A.R.P.I served as legal advisor to LaCie.

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