September 20, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - Charlie Hufnagel isn't sure whether he wants an iPhone 5 when it goes on sale Friday, but that didn't stop him from being first in line at the Apple store near Union Square. In fact, he has been there since Monday morning - after all, he's being paid for it. Huge crowds and guaranteed media coverage have spawned a subculture of enterprising opportunists piggybacking off Apple hype. With the company set to release its highly anticipated iPhone 5, dozens of people are already gathered outside high-profile stores around the country.
August 10, 2012 |
Apple has authorized Apple Stores to price-match other retailers' discounts on the iPhone 4S, according to a report. The discounts are limited to $49.01, but appear to apply to all versions of the iPhone 4S, in black and white versions. An image posted online by MacRumors shows a graphic that says Apple Stores can match discounts from Target and Sprint for the 8-gigabyte device. The stores can also match discounts for 16-GB and 32-GB models from Sprint. Not all details are known about this new price-match program, but at first glance, it appears the biggest beneficiaries are people looking for a 16-GB or 32-GB iPhone 4S for AT&T or Verizon's networks.
July 11, 2012 |
Turns out consumers aren't the only ones disappointed with Apple's decision to withdraw from a registry of green products. Department of Environment officials in San Francisco -- land of the environmentally friendly -- have pledged to inform all 50 of the city's agencies that Apple's laptops and desktops will no longer qualify for purchase with city funds, according to the Wall Street Journal. The move comes after Apple notified the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool that it was withdrawing its products from the EPEAT registry and will no longer be submitting them for environmental ratings.
July 7, 2012 |
The heart of Best Buy's customer service model took a blow Friday when the company said it was laying off 600 of its Geek Squad employees and 1,800 other store workers. The layoffs represent 1.5% of Best Buy's overall workforce but 3% of the company's Geek Squad employees, who can assist with technical issues inside stores or at customers' homes. Best Buy has highlighted its Geek Squad service to keep customers from turning to cheaper online options, often after checking out the goods in Best Buy showrooms.
July 6, 2012 |
Good artists copy, but does the saying apply to retailers too? Best Buy hopes so, as it's converting 60 of its locations into Apple Store lookalikes, according to a new report. The new stores, dubbed "Best Buy 2.0," take several plays from Apple's book, including a new help desk reminiscent of Apple's Genius Bar, more focus on mobile devices, and the ability to let shoppers pay from more locations. The help desk, called Solution Central, is manned by Best Buy's Geek Squad, according to the report.
July 5, 2012 |
Apple's App Store may be experiencing some problems, possibly evidenced by various recently updated iOS apps that are inexplicably crashing. Numerous apps that have just been updated, many of which happened on Wednesday, have been crashing immediately after launching, causing issues for their developers. Instapaper developer Marco Arment wrote about the issue Wednesday, pointing out all the problems his recent app has been suffering that share characteristics with that of at least 50 other apps, on iOS and Mac. Apple hasn't responded to Arment, the Los Angeles Times or other publications' requests for comment, but it appears Instapaper's issues are over.
July 4, 2012 |
Best Buy and Amazon are discounting the latest MacBooks despite the Apple computers being on the market for less than a month. The two retailers are offering discounts on their websites across the board on all 10 computers Apple announced at its Worldwide Developers Conference last month. Although the two companies have similar discounts for all of the models, Best Buy beats Amazon, notably on the Retina models, in some instances. The iPhone: 5 years running Amazon takes off only $5 from the two Retina models, yet Best Buy knocks off $139.
June 23, 2012 |
Apple Inc.just gave its retail employees more reasons to like working for the company, but after a New York Times article Saturday focusing on Apple employees, it begs to be asked whether Apple was just trying to pad itself before the story dropped. The Cupertino, Calif., company in the last week announced that its 30,000 U.S. retail employees would get bigger discounts on hardware ($500 off most Macs and $250 off iPads, on top of the 25% discount they already receive), invitations to receive and test its next operating system ahead of its release, and early raises that had not been expected until September -- with some workers getting as much as a 30% increase, according to 9 to 5 Mac. It all sounded like one of the most successful companies in the world was just passing along the fruit of that success to its lower-level employees.
May 30, 2012 |
Apple cult members, rejoice: Now you can brag that even your thermostat came from the Apple Store. As of Wednesday morning, Apple added the Nest Learning Thermostat to the list of products it sells in its online store. Like most of the items in the Apple store, the Nest Learning Thermostat isn't cheap. It costs about $250, or roughly five times as much as an average thermostat at Home Depot. But it looks great -- with a sleek round shape and clean interface, and it can do lots of things your regular thermostat can't -- like use artificial intelligence to control the temperature in your house.
May 21, 2012 |
Apple mailed a brochure to its neighbors in Cupertino seeking feedback on its planned "Campus 2" that would increase the company's presence in the area. Inside the brochure, the company revealed several details of the planned building, which was revealed last summer by company founder Steve Jobs prior to his death in October. Among the details, Apple said it plans to break ground on the project sometime later this year. That hinges on the city approving the project, but if it does, Apple hopes to begin occupying the new location by 2015.