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Security guards protest low wages, block Apple San Francisco store

08/28, 9:56pm

Protest accommodated until doors to store blocked

A group of corporate and retail security guards for Apple stores staged a peaceful protest of what they consider to be low pay relative to other employees at the company's flagship San Francisco store on Thursday. The issue the guards were drawing attention to is not one specific to Apple, but endemic among tech firms in Silicon Valley -- who collectively tend to pay cleaning, support, maintenance and security staff lower wages on average than regular employees.

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Apple Stores gearing up to allow early-upgrade carrier program buying?

07/29, 12:43am

Program expected to be operational in time for next iPhone arrival

Traditionally, iPhones bought from Apple Stores come in two varieties: locked to an individual carrier with a two-year contract, or completely unlocked but at full retail price. Last month, the company began allowing sales of iPhones on pre-paid plans, and now appears to be poised to allow Apple Store sales of iPhones to existing (and eligible) AT&T Next, Verizon Edge, T-Mobile Jump, and possibly Sprint EasyPay customers, who have the freedom to upgrade their phones more often in exchange for a slightly higher monthly charge.

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Apple expands iDevice trade-in program to Australia

07/15, 1:03am

Older iPhone and iPads can be traded in for credit up to A$250

Australians can now trade-in their older iOS devices for up to A$250 ($235 US) towards the purchase of a new device, Apple announced on Monday. The higher reward is available to for iPhones, while buyers can get up to $202 (A$215) in credit for iPad trade-ins at Apple Stores across the country. The new program arrives just shy of a year after the US debut, which offers up to $225. Since then, the initiative has expanded to Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK.

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Omotesando Apple Store opens with SVP of Retail Ahrendts in attendance

06/12, 11:05pm

Latest Tokyo store draws unusual large crowd, features metal-and-glass spiral staircase

Tokyo, Japan's latest Apple Store opened on Friday (local time) in much the same way most other Apple Stores debut -- free commemorative T-shirts, a large lineup of eager buyers waiting to get in (a rarer sight in Japan than in North America), extensive press coverage. The store in Omotesando, however, was a little different: the T-shirts featured a new, leafy Apple logo that may or may not be used again, and Apple's new Senior Vice President of Retail, Dame Angela Ahrendts, was among the attendees.

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Report: Apple Stores now switching to iPhone 5s for updated EasyPay

05/09, 11:11pm

Replacing modified iPod touch units used since 2009, more

Apple is currently in the process of replacing the long-serving, modified iPod touch units that have served as mobile Point-of-Sale (POS) units since 2009, now giving employees iPhone 5s units equipped to do the same job and more, according to reports. The iPod touch or iPhone 5s has a custom-fitting sled, not dissimilar to a battery case, that adds magnetic stripe and barcode scanning, and now includes RFID and chip card readers.

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Briefly: Apple goes green, analysts post final guesses for fiscal Q2

04/22, 1:21am

Apple stores adding green to 'leaf' in Apple logo for Earth Day

Continuing with the various environmentally-themed disclosures on Monday, Apple has begun decorating its Apple Stores for Earth Day on Tuesday by adding green gels to the "leaf" portion of the Apple logo on some stores. The changeover is happening worldwide, with pictures of the modified logo appearing from China and Australia that also include employees in green-colored work shirts.

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Apple now accepts all used Apple products for recycling at all stores

04/21, 10:07pm

Non-functioning units will be recycled, recent working units can be exchanged for gift cards

Continuing its multi-pronged and environmentally-minded publicity push on Monday, Apple has also initiated a new program that will turn all Apple Stores into recycling centers, accepting all used Apple devices either for free (in the case of non-functional and older devices) or in exchange for a gift card (for newer, functional units). The new plan is part of an effort to reduce the company's "footprint" in terms of manufacturing pollution, and keep more of its electronics out of landfills.

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Repairs for iPhone 5c displays now available in US Apple Stores

01/20, 6:34pm

Repair requires special equipment, costs $149 to fix rather than replace whole unit

As previously reported, Apple has now made available a service to repair damaged iPhone 5c screens rather than replacing the units outright in a number of its US stores. The new service prevents users having to change over to another phone, or send the device away to a remote repair facility. The service, which costs $149 for customers who do not have AppleCare+ on their iPhones, can take as little as one hour thanks to new, specialized equipment.

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Report: Apple to begin screen repairs of iPhone 5c next week

01/17, 1:00am

Company will fix or replace broken displays starting Monday, report says

At least some Apple stores will begin repairing or replacing displays on iPhone 5c units if nothing else is wrong with the device, according to reports. The service is expected to start on Monday, January 20. Up to this point, iPhone 5c units with broken screens were simply replaced with refurbished replacement phones -- repairing or replacing the displays separately is seen as more convenient to the customer and less expensive for the company.

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Briefly: Apple Japan's 'Lucky Bag' sale, China smartphone sales down

12/24, 9:47pm

Apple Japan expected to launch 'Lucky Bag' sale starting January 2

Apple may be planning to celebrate the Japanese New Year with offerings of fukubukoro, or "lucky bags" beginning at 8AM local time on Thursday, January 2, two hours earlier than the usual opening time, according to an item on Japanese Mac fan site Otakara. Along with most other retailers, Japan's Apple Stores will offer a "lucky bag" at a present price that contains mystery items worth more than the asking price. In some cases, buyers have received a MacBook Air or an iPad.

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Apple Stores in San Francisco, Düsseldorf to debut on Saturday

12/10, 9:01pm

Brings 2013 store total to 448, 30 more planned for 2014

What are probably the last two Apple Store openings for 2013 will take place this Saturday, December 14 with openings of the expanded and remodelled Stonestown store in San Francisco, and an all-new store in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Stonestown location has more than doubled its original square footage by moving to a location near the original store, which opened in 2004. The Düsseldorf store is said to be located in the upscale Kö-Bogen mall in the Königsallee shopping district.

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Apple Stores going RED for World AIDS Day

11/30, 7:41pm

December 1 will see Apple Stores with (RED) logo

Apple will turn its iconic white Apple retail store logos red for a day on Sunday in order to mark World Aids Day. The color change is the latest in a string of signs of support from the iPhone maker for the Product (RED) initiative, which works to combat AIDS worldwide. As 9to5Mac notes, the change over to the red logo has already begun at Apple's Regent Street Store in London, and other locations are expected to follow soon after.

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Study: Apple Stores now sell 11 percent of all US cell phones

11/25, 7:44pm

Cook initiative to sell more iPhones in-house making progress

A new study has revealed the startling statistic that Apple's retail stores are one of the biggest sellers of cell phones outside carrier-direct and carrier-store sales. The Apple Store chain now sells about 11 percent of all cell phones bought in the US, and is responsible for roughly 25 percent of all US iPhone sales. The study, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, puts Apple's retail stores just behind Best Buy (with 13 percent of US cellphone sales).

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Apple Stores suffer retail POS, Personal Pickup outage

11/14, 5:58pm

Apparently nationwide, reports vary on length, systems now restored

Apple retail stores around the US suffered an unusual outage of the company's point-of-sale (POS) systems that lasted for up to two hours at some locations earlier today, affecting the ability to make purchases and pick up items ordered online for in-store delivery. Quick checks of stores in Albequerque New Mexico, New York City and northern Virginia along with other reports indicate that outage times varied, with the disruption described as "no big deal" at some stores while others had longer downtimes.

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Apple Stores closing early Nov 17 and 18 under 'special hours'

11/07, 12:30am

Dates thought to be connected to new products, but reasons could be more mundane

Apple retail stores around the world will be operating under "special hours" and closing two to three hours earlier than normal on November 17 and 18, likely to attend an "all-hands" meeting for new product updates that may or may not include the new Mac Pro or iPad mini (or both). Outside the United States, stores in a number of countries -- including much of Europe, Canada and East Asian countries -- have posted notices warning of the early closure hours.

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Apple Stores begin program of special discounts on audio gear

08/07, 1:30am

Jawbone's Big Jambox, Bose QuietComfort, Beats by Dre tipped for sales

Apple Stores have begun a significant sale on audio accessories during August, with two offers already underway and a third one coming later. Currently, the stores are offering 10 percent off on select Beats by Dre headphones and speakers, along with a $50 discount on the price of the Jawbone Big Jambox Bluetooth speaker, the latter offering being matched by Jawbone through its own site and resellers. A reader has alerted Electronista that the stores will also be offering two Bose QuietComfort headphones for 10 percent off beginning on Sunday.

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Apple retail employees file class-action lawsuit over security

07/29, 5:51pm

Claim that searches, bag checks are done off-the-clock

A group of former retail employees of Apple Stores in Los Angeles and New York have filed a class-action suit against Apple, saying that the company demands employees submit to extensive anti-theft searches and other security measures, but doesn't pay them for the time involved. The security checks, which happen whenever an employee leaves the store, take 10 or 15 minutes according to the claim filed, adding up to millions of dollars in uncompensated employee time -- possibly as much as $1,400 per employee per year.

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Report: Apple planning to bring more iPhone sales to Apple Stores

07/04, 1:00am

Sweeping change in iPhone marketing to feature trade-ins, price-matching

Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to have told top retail managers in a secret meeting that the company would like to "equalize" the difference between the percentage of customers that come to Apple retail stores for iPhone repairs versus iPhone sales. The move, reported by unnamed sources, would encourage more customers to use the Apple retail presence to buy iPhones (where currently only 20 percent of buyers do) through the use of direct trade-in offers and other incentives. The recent addition of the iPhone to Apple's "Back to School" promotion was allegedly the first step in the plan.

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Apple Stores: new Swiss location confirmed, Hong Kong fashion show

05/27, 9:10am

Long-rumored store in Basel coming, fashion shoot at Causeway Bay

A proposed Apple Store we first reported on 18 months ago has finally been confirmed through architectural plans and job postings to be the fourth Apple Store in the country of Switzerland. The store, which was first mooted elsewhere three years ago, will be in the city of Basel and required an extensive amount of demolition and reconstruction in order to better blend in with surrounding buildings.

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Apple internal video shows thinking behind stores

11/26, 9:30pm

Shows focus on customer experience over profit

A previously-unaired internal Apple video from 2011 led by former SVP of Retail Ron Johnson and featuring rare appearances by Apple Store architects and VP of Retail Development Bob Bridger was posted to YouTube for a while on Monday (and has since been pulled). The video, about 10 minutes in length, showcases how Apple approaches creating both its in-mall and standalone Apple Stores -- revealing that Apple's customer-centric philosophy is not just for show, but a key element in its retail success.

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Report: Apple Stores' EasyPay to be updated for Passbook

10/15, 7:54pm

Logical progression of Apple Store app abilities

Apple, which launched the "EasyPay" system of allowing users to buy accessories and self-checkout at Apple Stores by scanning a bar code with the Apple Store app on their iOS device late last year, plans to add Passbook functionality that could allow users to buy (and eventually even reload) Apple Store gift cards, possibly book Genius Bar appointments or provide reservations on top-selling items, or allow users to buy more expensive hardware and other items using Passbook's pay codes.

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Kansas Apple Store hit with vehicle in smash-and-grab

10/13, 10:38pm

Thieves often forget that devices are easily traceable

The latest in a series of "smash-and-grab" robberies of Apple Stores happened in Leawood, Kansas this week -- the second time this particular store has been victimized in the same manner in the last two years. The thieves used a stolen car as a battering ram, but were unable to use the car to escape, and only had time to take a small amount of merchandise before police arrived, forcing them to flee on foot. Though the story had a security fence, it was unable to stop the vehicle from allowing the robbers entry to the store.

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Online 'Genius' program debuts at Apple's online store

08/29, 11:15am

Shifts some training, pre-buying questions to web site

Amid reports that Apple is looking at new ways to make the retail Apple Stores more profitable, the company has added a new "online training" feature to its store website, bringing "live chat" abilities along with a guided tour of the online store, Genius scheduling, or the ability to request a phone call from a product specialist. The program launched today in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil, but has not yet been rolled out in the US.

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Glendale Apple Store fined $200 for overcharging error

04/09, 7:55pm

LA authority conducts 'price accuracy' inspections

Following an investigation by the LA consumer protection agency, one of the Glendale Apple stores has been fined a $200 civil penalty for overcharging on an item. The Americana at Brand store apparently sold an unnamed item (likely to be a Mac system) for $70 more than the lowest advertised store price at the time. Apple normally sells all new items at normal retail price, and any price fluctuation -- either lower or higher -- is uncommon. The incident occurred last August.

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Ron Johnson previews JC Penney plan to 'retail different'

01/25, 11:00pm

Publishes two-page newspaper mission statement

Kicking off with a two-page newspaper ad (seen below) that serves as a new "mission statement" for the company that says it is "rethinking and reimagining" its store experience, J.C. Penney Company kicked off celebrations for its 110th anniversary with new CEO Ron Johnson at the helm. Johnson spent 11 years as Apple's Senior VP of Retail and was the key person responsible for the Apple Stores and other concepts, reports his colleague and industry observer Ken Segall.

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Apple Stores' EasyPay checkout, in-store pickup help growth

01/25, 1:00am

Revenue, visitor counts both jump over 40 percent

Apple CEO Tim Cook has credited the company's recent retail innovations, which include the online option of in-store pickup of purchases as well as a new self-checkout option that incorporates into the stores' EasyPay system with an eponymous iOS app, with helping Apple Stores see significant jumps in visitors and revenue across 2011. Average revenues per store grew 43 percent to $17.4 million, while visitors grew 45 percent to an average 22,000 per week.

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Apple stores coming to southern France, northern Switzerland

01/16, 5:30pm

Aix-en-Provence plans show glass-heavy design

Two more future Apple stores have been uncovered thanks to magazine features and a European Mac website, retail tracking site ifoAppleStore reports. One will be in the French city of Aix-En-Provence, not far from Marseilles, while the other will be in the north of Switzerland where it meets the French and German borders in the town of Basel. A magazine from the Aix-en-Provence region revealed renderings for the planned store, showing it to be nearly transparent.

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Rumor: Apple may be mystery retailer coming to Halifax mall

01/05, 6:05pm

If true, would be one of four 2012 Canadian stores

Canada may get as many as four new Apple stores in 2012, but if reports from Nova Scotia are true, however, one store may go against Apple's trend of placing stores in the highest population centers and will instead land in Halifax, the provincial capital but home to only 400,000 people. The rumor, which has circulated in various forms for years, is recently supported by unusual renovations and unusual secrecy from the main mall in town, iPhoneinCanada claims.

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Apple sues NY's Apple Story, other retail lookalikes

08/04, 5:35pm

Sealed lawsuit may target Chinese knockoff stores

Apple has filed a lawsuit against a list of companies that currently run retail stores designed to look like Apple's own brick-and-mortar outlets. Although the complaint is sealed, the few details that are available suggest the company is going after a large number of defendants. The lawsuit, which was filed at the US District Court in the Eastern District of New York, lists at least 50 John Does and unnamed businesses.

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MTA committee details Grand Central Apple Store proposal

07/25, 4:35pm

Apple expected to pay $1.1m for annual rent

Committee members from New York City's Metro Transit Authority have provided further details surrounding the Grand Central Apple Store proposal, which was confirmed earlier today following a number of leaks. Previous reports suggest Apple will face $800,000 for annual rent as part of the agreement, however the yearly charge is said to jump by an additional $300,000 after the first ten years.

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Counterfeit Chinese 'Apple Store' gets worldwide scrutiny

07/21, 7:20pm

May also get unwelcome attention from Apple

As a follow-up to our story yesterday about a U.S. expatriate blogger known as BirdAbroad who discovered several counterfeit Apple Stores in her southwest China city, the story has now received worldwide attention, garnering covering throughout the U.S. and Europe -- and bringing with it unwelcome attention from Apple and Chinese authorities to the fake stores, which may now find themselves in legal jeopardy, The Wall Street Journal reports.

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Apple scheduling employee briefings for Wed. Lion launch?

07/18, 11:15pm

Staff said to be ready for new OS

Apple has reportedly scheduled overnight briefings on Tuesday night for its retail employees. The staff are expected to use the time to prepare for the Mac OS X Lion launch, which is said to be set for Wednesday, unnamed sources have told MacRumors. The company is also claimed to have sent each store a Mac Pros preloaded with the upcoming OS.

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Apple to open two-story retail store in Hong Kong this fall

06/24, 5:55pm

First of two locations set for the sprawling city

Apple is reportedly set to open its first retail location in Hong Kong as early as this fall, unnamed sources have told M.I.C.. The company is said to be aiming its grand opening for early September, on the heels of an August debut for a separate location in Shanghai. The Hong Kong establishment reportedly fills a 15,000-square-foot space in the International Finance Center mall on Hong Kong Island.

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West coast Apple Stores begin iPad 2 sales

03/11, 8:00pm

San Francisco lineup for iPad 2 swells to 4 blocks

MacNN has received reports that a large lineup is forming outside the San Francisco Apple Store in the downtown district, swelling from an earlier estimate of 140 people (quoted by AppleInsider earlier today) now stretching over four city blocks in length. Sunny weather in the city has allowed customers wanting an iPad 2 to begin the traditional lineup later than their New York City counterparts, where it was still raining earlier in the day following a massive rainstorm Thursday night, with well over 500 people in line nonetheless. Other cities are also reporting long lineups.

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Apple launching Grand Central flagship store in September?

02/17, 6:35pm

Project now said to be finalized

Apple has reportedly settled on plans to build a new flagship retail location within Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Recent reports suggested the company was considering the new location, but unnamed sources have allegedly told Cult of Mac that the decision has been made and application process has begun.

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New Apple Store window display "floats" MacBook Air

01/31, 7:50pm

Inspired by Pixar's "Up," MBA tied to balloon

A clever new window display at one of the New York City Apple stores (and elsewhere) appears to show a MacBook Air hanging from a helium balloon with the tagline "so light, it floats." While the ballon is of course suspended by thin clear wires, the illusion has been effective at fooling at least some commenters on YouTube, where the standard-definition version of a video of the display (below), shot by Obamapacman.com makes it difficult to see the suspending wires.

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Apple stops offering Personal Shopping service in stores

11/02, 8:50pm

All customers now assisted by standard staff

Apple has stopped offering its Personal Shopping service to customers who visit the company's retail outlets. The service had provided product demonstrations and special assistance on an appointment basis, allowing them to "test-drive" Apple's range of devices.

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iPad boosts overall sales at NYC Apple stores

10/07, 12:00am

Typical purchase up $50 over industry average

Since the beginning of iPad pre-orders in March of this year, Apple stores have experienced a sales surge that has been maintained through the summer, with the chain outperforming the average purchase figure for the electronics and software retail sector as a whole by about 20 percent in New York City, statistics show.

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Covent Garden Apple Store to open August 7

07/30, 2:45pm

Apple's fifth retail store in London

Apple is set to open its fifth retail store in London, with a new establishment located in the city's busy Covent Garden district. Customers can begin flooding the store beginning Saturday, August 7 for the grand opening.

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Canadian Apple Stores opening at 7am for iPhone 4 debut

07/28, 10:15pm

Device set to arrive in many additional countries

Apple Stores located in Canada will be open early, at 7am, to accommodate the surge in sales for the local iPhone 4 launch. The 16GB device will be sold unlocked for $659 CAD (~$639 USD), while the 32GB unlocked variant commands $779 CAD (~$755 USD). Subsidized prices are expected to match US pricing for both capacities.

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Heavy traffic may force Apple to relocate UK store

07/02, 11:50am

Company seeking more floor space

Apple is reportedly planning to relocate one of its UK stores to a different location in the Manchester area. The move is said to be motivated by heavy foot traffic that has exceeded the intended capacity of current buildings.

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International buyers line up for local iPad launches

05/27, 8:30pm

Lines observed in Sydney, Tokyo, London

The iPad's official launch in nine additional countries has drawn lines of prospective buyers in certain locations. Customers are reportedly camping out in London, Tokyo, and Sydney, among other cities. Apple Stores in the UK will open an hour early, at 8am, to accommodate the influx of customers picking up pre-ordered devices or placing new orders.

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Apple leads Consumer Reports ranks for cellphone stores

05/12, 6:40pm

Customers impressed by service, checkout

Apple has achieved the top spot in yet another Consumer Reports ranking, with the company's retail outlets considered the best place to buy a cellphone. Despite the lack of selection and relatively high price of the iPhone, respondents to the survey gave Apple Stores an average score of 86 out of 100.

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Apple Stores maintain iPad inventory following launch rush

04/05, 8:00pm

iPads in-stock at many retail locations

Apple has managed to maintain iPad inventories at many of its retail stores, despite the rush of customers who waited in line for the device on Saturday. Calls to several key locations in California and New York confirmed that customers can still walk in and purchase an iPad, although a few stores were out of the 16GB model. Several smaller stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio still have every Wi-Fi model in stock.

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Apple stores to use customized iPods for new checkout

11/03, 4:20pm

Company eliminating Windows CE-based portables

Apple is reportedly developing a new checkout system based on the iPod touch, according to an ifoAppleStore report posted on AppleInsider. The "EasyPay touch" configuration consists of an iPod case integrating a barcode scanner, additional battery cells and a magnetic stripe reader. The hardware is paired with custom point-of-sale (POS) software.

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Paris Apple Store at Louvre set for Nov. 7th opening

10/28, 6:40pm

Site said to be ready ahead of schedule

Despite earlier reports suggesting the Carousel de Louvre Apple Store would be ready by November 15th, the French site macgeneration now claims the grand opening is scheduled for November 7th. Sources allege the company will provide official details by Friday, including a partnership with the nearest Starbucks to provide free coffee for early birds waiting in line.

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Apple Store coming to Temecula, CA on Sept. 26

09/22, 5:00pm

Newest California Apple Store opens Saturday

Apple will open its 270th store this weekend, launching the Promenade Temecula Apple Store Saturday, September 26. The store, located at 40820 Winchester Road, Temecula, CA 92591 in the Promenade Temecula mall, will open at 10:00 a.m. PDT. The store will offer the Apple standards -- Apple products like the iPhone, iMac and MacBooks, and Genius Bar face to face support. Hands-on workshops will be available and the One to One program will be available. The store phone number will be (951) 326-2400. Currently, no workshops have been scheduled in the first week of operation. Hours will run 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Mon-Sat, with Sunday hours of 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m..

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67th St. NYC Apple Store expected to open in November

07/30, 6:15pm

67th St NYC Apple Store

The upcoming Apple Store located on 67th Street and Broadway in NYC is expected to be completed before Thanksgiving, a construction worker told the Westside Independent. A separate source in the investment community also claims Apple is already working on staffing the location, as several employees in surrounding stores have allegedly been offered managerial positions.

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Ottawa Apple Store grand opening set for Saturday

07/14, 8:35pm

Ottawa Apple Store opening

A new Apple Store in Ottawa, Canada will be having its grand opening this Saturday, July 18th at 9:30 a.m.. As indicated by construction photographs, the Rideau Center location has very similar elements to the company's other retail establishments, such as the Genius Bar and wall displays. Compared to other stores, the single-story outlet is larger than average. This should not come as much of a surprise, considering the store will be the first of its kind in Ottawa, the nation's capitol, and only the ninth so far in all of Canada.

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Apple to open retail stores at 7 a.m. Friday

06/17, 1:35pm

Apple retail stores open

Apple today said it would open its retail stores at 7 a.m. local time on Friday, June 19 -- one hour earlier than its previously announced time of 8 a.m. The new time is the same as launch time of the new iPhone 3G S at AT&T retail stores, which also open at 7 a.m.; the carrier, however, will only distribute the devices to owners who pre-ordered the device through its direct fulfillment service and said that other customers will only be able to purchase the phones starting at 9 a.m., according to the same report by News.com.

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