iPad Lines Shorter Than Expected, But There’s Reasons

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster was at Apple’s flagship retail store at Fifth Avenue in New York City for the launch of the new iPad. And just as he did ahead of the iPad 2, Munster performed a basic headcount to determine the number of people waiting in line to get their hands on the latest Apple tablet.

Munster figures that there were approximately 750 people waiting in line to purchase the new iPad, which is a 37% decrease from the lineup of 1,190 people that waited last year to purchase the iPad 2. Similar reports have surfaced this morning from multiple outlets including Cult of Mac, which suggested that the queues at most Apple retail stores have already dwindled with plenty of new iPad stock remaining. So, why the lower turnout? (more…)

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Brief Bits: New iPad Available on Friday at 8 AM

Mark Gurman from 9to5Mac has obtained official Apple signage indicating that the iPhone maker’s brick-and-mortar retail stores will open their doors at 8 AM local time on Friday to accommodate for the launch of the new iPad. For most stores, this is two full hours prior to the usual time that Apple retail stores open for the day. New iPads will be sold on a first come, first serve basis. Will you be camping out front of your local Apple Store in advance of the new iPad launch? Check out the full signage after the jump… (more…)

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Tim Cook: Browett is “The Best By Far” for Apple’s Retail

Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook responded to an email sent to him from a frustrated customer, regarding the company’s decision to appoint John Browett, known for working at British chains Dixon and Tesco, as Apple’s new Senior Vice President of Retail. In Cook’s response, he refers to Browett as “the best by far,” and here’s why… (more…)

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John Browett Joins Apple as Head of Retail Operations

Apple announced today that John Browett has joined the company as its new Senior Vice President of Retail Operations. Browett, who was previously the chief executive of the European technology retailer Dixon, will work on retail strategies and continue to expand the number of Apple retail stores operated worldwide. Browett replaces Ron Johnson, who left his post at Apple in November to become the chief executive at the U.S. retail chain J.C. Penney. Browett doesn’t officially start until April, but did Apple make the right choice? Full press release is ahead… (more…)

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Chat with Strangers at Apple Retail Stores

If Chatroulette isn’t your favorite website to talk with strangers, which wouldn’t be too surprising, then perhaps this website will tickle your fancy; it allows you to connect to Macs via iChat or AIM in Apple Stores across the world. The Mac that you are trying to connect to must have at least one of those two aforementioned chat clients running, which this website will indicate for you, and then you can chat with the strangers that are using that computer as long as they are to accept the incoming text, video, or audio chat that you’re trying to initiate.

I gave the website a spin, but I wasn’t able to connect with anyone due to the fact that most Apple Stores are closed at this hour in the day. Keep in mind that the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City is open twenty-four hours a day, three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year, so you can always try your luck there. There’s also several stores that are located in different time zones such as in Australia, Germany, Italy, and United Kingdom. Furthermore, you can enter a custom three-digit store code for any unlisted stores; this list of store codes is a great help. If you’re able to successfully connect and chat with someone at an Apple Store, be sure to let us know!

[Lehner Studios via Twitter]

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Buyers Being Charged for Apple TV, Shipping Imminent

It looks like Apple has begun to charge user’s credit cards for the Apple TV, which means they will soon begin to ship. The Apple Store still has an ETA of “2-3 weeks”, but Jobs said during the keynote that the streaming-media-box would ship sometime in September, so this news is staying true to the promised schedule.

The Apple TV features quite a bit for such a tiny device, but there are many competing devices that may better suit your needs. Today, Roku revamped their lineup of XD video players with 1080p playback support, topping the ATV’s measly 720p output. Make sure to look at all the options before plopping down a Benjamin. (Although, if the Apple TV does get jailbroken, it could open a whole new world of possibilities…)

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iPhone 4 Coming to China Next Week

At long last, (and just a week after getting the iPad), China will finally be receiving the latest iPhone. Apple will also be opening two brand-new stores, one in Hong Kong Plaza in Shanghai and the other in Xidan Joy City in Beijing. The iPhone 4 will be available at these locations at 8am on September 25th, as well as through China Unicom with a two-year contract. Off contract, the iPhone 4 will cost CNY4,999 ($743) for the 16GB model and CNY5,999 ($892) 32 GB model. If you’re going to be picking one up, please be sure to share your experience!

CUPERTINO, California—September 19, 2010—Apple® today announced that iPhone® 4 will be available to customers in China beginning Saturday, September 25 at 8:00 a.m. at Apple Retail Stores including the new Apple Store® Hong Kong Plaza in Shanghai and the new Apple Store Xidan Joy City in Beijing opening on the same day. iPhone 4 will also be available on Saturday at China Unicom retail stores for qualified buyers with a new two year contract.
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New iPods Available Today!

Rumor has it that the new lineup of iPods will be available at your local Apple store today, so wake up early and get ready to stand in line! There’s no word on the availability of the new iDevices at 3rd party retailers like BestBuy, so it would be wise to call before you make the trip. For those of you still stuck with the models from yesteryear, you can still look forward to the release of iOS 4.1, which is due out today as well. iPods that were ordered online will probably be trickling in soon too, depending on when you ordered it.

via Apple Discussions

I have called two Apple Retail stores here in the Maryland area this afternoon. Both of them confirmed that they will start selling the new iPod’s tomorrow at store opening (10 AM Eastern). Both stores urged me to arrive early (Which I will). Just wanted to pass the info along. THE WAIT IS NEARLY OVER. YAY. Oh yeah, this is my first post too! Sweet.

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Apple Waives iPhone 4 Restocking Fee, Extends Return to 30 Days

If you want to try an iPhone 4, now is the time. Apple has waived the restocking fee for anyone wishing to return the iPhone 4. You also have a month (30 days) to try the iPhone out. This is probably due to the antenna and reception issues plaguing some users.

Black and white iPhone 4 models at 30-degree angles.

The first hint came in the letter Apple released earlier today:

We have gone back to our labs and retested everything, and the results are the same- the iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. For the vast majority of users who have not been troubled by this issue, this software update will only make your bars more accurate. For those who have had concerns, we apologize for any anxiety we may have caused.

As a reminder, if you are not fully satisfied, you can return your undamaged iPhone to any Apple Retail Store or the online Apple Store within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

We hope you love the iPhone 4 as much as we do.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Apple

This is an update from the usual return policy, where a 10% restocking fee is collected on any opened iPhone. ComputerWorld was able to confirm this change with an AppleCare support associate identifying herself as ‘Erica.’

So, Apple is definitely aware of perhaps the only reason to return an iPhone 4, and are apparently trying to help out users experiencing it in any way they can.

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Apple admits there are signal problems – Fix is “on the way”

But it’s not what we think… Apparently, the reason users are seeing lower signal bars when they grip their iPhones (especially in the bottom left corner) is because there were never any “high” signal bars in the area in the first place. Any high reception was false, and infact, people were in a low reception area but gripping the phone showed the ‘true’ bars. Here’s how Apple explain it:

“Users observing a drop of several bars when they grip their iPhone in a certain way are most likely in an area with very weak signal strength, but they don’t know it because we are erroneously displaying 4 or 5 bars. Their big drop in bars is because their high bars were never real in the first place.”

Read the full press release after the break – It looks like a software update is coming to fix the problem… but the hardware problem will remain.

(more…)

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