Apple opened its first retail stores on May 19, 2001 – one in Virginia and the other in California. In the Steve Jobs biography, author Walter Isaacson wrote how Jobs had wanted Apple to have its own stores so that their iMacs didn’t have to “sit on a shelf between a Dell and a Compaq while an uninformed clerk recited the specs of each”. Despite initial criticisms and comparisons to Gateway’s failed retail stores, Apple Stores not only continue to exist today, but are regarded as one of Apple’s greatest innovations - one that now contributes to more than 10% of Apple’s revenue.
“Unless we could find ways to get our message to customers at the store, we were screwed.”
I’ve previously written about the coverage of Apple’s entertainment services in international markets (including how they compare to Google, Microsoft and Amazon), so I was similarly intrigued by how Apple’s stores have expanded into countries outside the US. Whilst researching all this, I came across other questions such as whether Apple had a particular preference for when they opened new stores and how the expansion of their retail network would affect visitors and profits. What I have found isn’t particularly groundbreaking, but there are certainly some trends and fascinating tidbits that I’ve come across, all of which is detailed below the break.
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As the iPhone 5 begins its international rollout, lines have begun forming at Apple retail stores in preparation of tomorrow’s launch.
The iPhone 5, announced at a media event on September 12, will go on sale tomorrow at 8 am in nine countries: US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. The iPhone 5 is a major upgrade from the iPhone 4S: it features a taller, 4-inch screen, a faster processor, an improved camera, better audio, and a thinner, lighter design with an aluminum back and glass inlays. Apple launched online pre-orders for the device last Friday, and in the first 24 hours the iPhone 5 topped two million pre-orders.
As we’ve done for every recent Apple product launch, we’re collecting some of the best photos and videos of customers waiting in line at their Apple stores. We’ll be updating this post throughout the next 24 hours; come back later for the latest updates and photos from around the globe.
If you want to send us photos or videos from your local Apple store, send us an email at: tips at macstories.net
The designers’ solution to Genius Bar crowds was to pivot the GB table by 90-degrees so that it’s perpendicular to the rear wall of the store, and to eliminate the iconic kids seats and tables. A photo of the new set-up has surfaced showing a tall, 10-foot long wood counter at the rear of a store, with black stools on both sides. The table is set about 15 inches out from the rear wall of the store to allow employees to move from one side to another.
Often referred to as the “heart and soul” of an Apple retail store, the Genius Bar has come a long way since the floating notebooks for support staff and iPod-oriented questions and repairs. As Apple has evolved as a company and revamped its product line over the years, the Genius Bar has consequently changed to accommodate new kind of customers, questions, and, ultimately, devices — on both sides of the Bar. Customers’ details are now entirely managed on iPads, check-ins happen through a dedicated iPad app, and even signatures and machine information are being stored inside custom iPad software made for retail.
The Apple Store app for the iPhone has enabled Apple to revolutionize retail and mobile shopping shopping thanks to features such EasyPay, Personal Pickup, and assistance from the store’s Specialists. In today’s 2.2 update, Apple has added Express Checkout and new location features which focuses on online shoppers and customers picking their orders up from their nearest Apple Retail Store.
Express Checkout speeds up the process of making purchases through Apple’s online store by using your existing payment and shipping options. You can simply complete your order by tapping on the buy button for the items you want to purchase, selecting your options (if applicable), and checking out, then entering the password associated with your Apple ID. You’ll have to sign into Express Checkout through your Account Settings in the Apple Store app (on each device), and agree to the terms of service to use the quick pay feature. A FAQ for Express Checkout is available for your perusal online.
If you have an iPhone 4S and are picking up a purchased item from your local Apple Retail Store, your device can let the specialists know you’re arriving so that your items are ready for pickup before you reach the storefront. By enabling Location-Based Alerts and setting your pick up information in the Account Settings, items for pick up will be waiting for you to carry out when you reach your Apple Retail Store.
Apple is set to open their second retail store in Perth, Australia later this year according to a report by PerthNow. Apple has reportedly begun recruitment for the second store, named in their job advertisement as “South Perth”. PerthNow believes that the store will be located in the suburb of Booragoon, inside the large Garden City shopping centre.
Apple has apparently taken over two of the shops in the centre (Esprit and Sportsgirl) and possibly others that are near Kmart, whilst the centre is also relocating a lift and remodelling stairs nearby. When asked for a comment, the owner of Garden City said that they were currently “remixing the area” but did not specify who the new tenant was. PerthNow believes the store will open sometime in the second half of this year, possibly even July.
(The location of the Apple Store at Porta di Roma. Image via Macity)
As first noted by setteBIT, Apple officially acknowledged the existence of its 10th retail store in Italy, at the Porta di Roma shopping mall. As previously reported, the retail store is rumored to be opening on Saturday, April 21, albeit no official confirmation in regards to the grand opening has been made yet. The “Galleria Porta di Roma” shopping mall, located near the GRA highway of Rome, is open from 9 AM to 10 PM during the weekends, and it includes 220 retail stores. The new store’s dedicated webpage will be available here.
Two weeks ago, a rumor suggested the Porta di Roma Apple retail store would open on April 21st; on the same day every year, the city of Rome commemorates its founding in 753 BC, The celebration is known as “Natale di Roma” (Birthday of Rome), and such date would certainly provide an opportunity for Apple to play around the marketing tagline of the store opening.
Apple’s first retail store in Italy opened in April 2007 at Roma Est, another shopping mall located outside Rome. The new Apple store at Porta di Roma will be the company no. 365 worldwide, Italy’s 10th, and the 118th to open outside the United States.
(The location of the Apple Store at Porta di Roma. Image via Macity)
According to iSpazio [Google Translation], Apple will open its second retail store in Rome, Italy, on Saturday, April 21. Currently, Apple only has one retail store in Rome. The new one, located at the Porta di Roma shopping mall, should open on the same day Rome celebrates its birthday, commemorating the city’s founding in 753 BC. iSpazio managed to take some exclusive shots of the progress being made with the store’s construction, supposedly showing the usual layout of retail stores located inside Italian malls. iSpazio says the opening date has been confirmed by an “inside source”.
Italian website Macity reported back in January that Apple had started working on the new store, sharing photos of the old Co.Import location under construction. Opening in between Benetton and Bershka retail stores (Benetton is an Italian fashion firm, Bershka is a retailer part of the Spanish Inditex group), the Apple Store will be located on the same floor of heavily trafficked H&M and Media World. The Porta di Roma shopping mall, easily reachable by bus or by car from the GRA, has long been rumored to be a favorite location for Apple to open a retail store, albeit speculation has also suggested the company would like to have a third retail store in downtown Rome.
Recently, Apple has also been rumored to be considering making its new retail store in Turin its “most important” Italian one. Apple was also on the verge of launching a new flagship store in Milan, but the company didn’t manage to get permissions from the city. Currently, Apple has 9 retail stores in Italy.
As the new iPad begins its international rollout at 8 A.M. (local time) on Friday, March 16th, it’s no surprise Apple fans have started waiting in line at retail stores to get their hands on the device, which, this year, was also made available through online pre-orders.
On March 16th, the new iPad (our overview) goes on sale in 10 countries.
In this post, we’ll collect photos and videos about the experience of our readers and other folks around the web while waiting in line for the new iPad. Come back later for updates and new images. (more…)
Update 3/10: Apple has confirmed in a statement to CNET that initial iPad units available for pre-order are sold out.
Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts and the quantity available for pre-order has been purchased,” an Apple representative told CNET. “Customers can continue to order online and receive an estimated delivery date. Beginning Friday, March 16, the new iPad will be available for purchase at Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers on a first come, first-served basis.
As noted by Matthew Panzarino at The Next Web, shipping times for the recently announced new iPad have slipped to 2-3 weeks in several online stores worldwide. The new device, announced at a media event on Wednesday, was made available through online pre-orders immediately after the event; in the hours following the refresh of the Apple online store with new products, the company had to face technical problems with the site not loading correctly due to heavy traffic. That hasn’t stopped customers, however, from sending their orders for the new iPad, whose initial shipments are now sold out in many international versions of the store — shipping times of 2-3 weeks are now reported in the UK, Germany, Japan, France, and Australia. Curiously enough, at the moment of writing this US shipping times had slipped to 2-3 weeks as well, only to go back to March 19 right before publishing.
Other stores of the initial launch countries are now reporting delays as well: in Canada, new iPad orders will be shipped on March 19, in Singapore and Australia on March 22.
On March 16th, the new iPad will go on sale in:
25 more countries will follow one week later on March 23rd:
You can read more about the new iPad, which carries a Retina display, LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and quad-core GPU, in our overview.