Thursday, February 17, 2011

Confessions of an Apple Store Employee

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Popular Mechanics has published an article entitled, 'Confessions of an Apple Store Employee' which offers an inside look at working for Apple Retail.

Here are some highlights...

Product Launches
We are completely in the dark until they do a keynote speech. We have no idea what is coming and are not allowed to openly speculate. You can get into serious trouble if you speculate—especially to a customer. I am asked five times per day about the next iPad or iPhone, and I quite simply don't know. But I would be in huge trouble if I said something like "The next iPad is going to have a camera." I actually avoid the technology section of the newspaper so I have no points of view to accidentally comment with or drop into conversation. I'd rather just be dumb about it.

Evil Customers
Its amazing how badly behaved some customers are. I have seen customers have complete meltdowns and get phones exchanged that were like two years old. They scream, cry, curse. And it works. People can be horrible. Sometimes it's like working at McDonald's, with better pay. I've never been treated so badly in my life.

Dealing With Drug Dealers
We get a lot of drug dealers who try to buy iPhones with fake IDs. You can tell them instantly just by how shady they act, and they know you know, but you obviously can't start accusing them of being drug dealers—they are customers, after all. But when they try to check out, they'll use what are obviously fake IDs or fake credit cards, and it often turns out they're using a dead person's Social Security number or something. And when you call them out on that—then, they run.

You read more inside information at this link...



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Apple to Build Largest Store Ever in Grand Central Terminal?

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Apple's rumored Grand Central Terminal Store will be its largest retail space in the world, according to CultofMac.

The store already has a name: Apple Store, Grand Central, according to a source close the company. The source said Apple will be making an internal announcement within the next month or so.

"The company will certainly pull out all the stops on this one," said the source, who asked not to be named.

CultofMac's source notes that this year is the 10th anniversary of Apple retail and the company wants to make a big splash. Rumors of the new location were first reported earlier this month by the Observer.

Currently Apple’s largest retail location is the Covent Garden store which has about 40,000 square feet over four stories; however, only 16,372 square feet is public.







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China Telecom Employees Unlock the Verizon iPhone?

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The WSJ is reporting that China Telecom employees may have unlocked the Verizon iPhone for use on their CDMA network.

A post signed the "Apple Lab Team" on the Sina Weibo account identified as belonging to the Guangdong branch of China Telecom said Tuesday the "CDMA iPhone 4 has made its first call in China" without a hitch. Preceding posts included a photo of a Verizon Wireless iPhone beside a tag labeled China Telecom Guangdong, then a photo of the device displaying the home screen for Cydia, a software application that allows users to find applications and software packages for jailbroken Apple devices.

The team reveals that the phone was jailbroken with Greenpois0n for Mac; however, its not really clear if the phone has been unlocked to use a China Telecom number or whether the phone has just made a call over China Telecom's network using a Verizon number.

The employees’ microblog says to stay tuned for more "pleasant surprises."




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Apple Implementation of NFC Will Have a Unique Twist?

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Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities issued a note to investors today saying that Apple's approach to NFC in the iPhone 5 will have a unique twist., according to AppleInsider.

White said that his sources have indicated to him that the next iPhone will include NFC technology. However, Apple's approach will reportedly have "a twist that will make it unique versus his peers." White did not give any indication as to what the "twist" could be.

In November it was reported that Apple's next iPhone may feature Near Field Communication technology for remote computing. The idea was that if you wave your NFC equipped iPhone at an NFC Mac, the computer will load all your applications, settings, and data. This will let you work at the computer as if it was your own. Then when you move out of range the machine will return to its previous state.




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Apple to Add Data Transfer to MagSafe Connector?

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Apple has filed a patent application to add an optical signal path to future MagSafe connectors that would let the port send and receive data, as well as power the device.

Discovered by AppleInsider, the patent notes that "presently, satisfying these two requires at least two connections to the mobile device; one for power and one for data transmission but including two (or more) connectors increases cost and consume space, typically along the side of the mobile device. It also requires the user to make two separate connections, thus limiting the usefulness and desirability of the mobile computing format."

Apple's solution would include a fiber optic line inside a connector that looks much like the existing MagSafe power connector found on its line of MacBooks. But it would include additional "pins" inside the connector to allow data transfer for multiple types of inputs.

Potential input methods listed by Apple include USB, fiber-optic, local area networking (LAN) cables, DVI video, and DisplayPort. Corresponding connectors for these devices would be included on the power and data adapter.







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Apple Wins Best Mobile Device at Mobile World Congress

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Apple has won Best Mobile Device at Mobile World Congress despite not being present for the event.

Best Mobile Device: Apple - iPhone 4
Great screen, sharp design, fantastic materials, and phenomenal ecosystem for app developers. In a tight race, the iPhone 4 built on the success of its predecessors to set the pace for smart phones.

Angry Birds by Rovio took Apple of the Year on the Apple Platform and Best Mobile App.

"This is the 50 million plus-selling app that catapulted the benchmark for mobile gaming higher than ever, it is innovative too in terms of in-application monetisation."

This is an application that is simple, intuitive, incredibly addictive, and perfect for "snacking" consumption. It has underlined the importance of the applications market, and helped raise the credibility of small independent developers outside the mainstream.


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Monthly Value of an iPhone vs. Android App User

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Mobclix has published a report that examines the value of an iPhone vs. Android app user and translates that to revenue potential for developers on a per user basis.

Highlights:
● iPhone app users have a higher value than Android app users
● Utility app users have a higher value than game and entertainment app users

Criteria Used:
● Average revenue is defined as monthly revenue/unique users per month
● Apps with 500k+ downloads and/or 75k+ daily active users were used for calculation purposes
● Apps spent an average of two weeks in their categories ‘Top 10′ listing and are Free apps
● Value is based only on advertising revenues
● Active user is defined as a usage of 3 times a week for a minimum of 5 mins


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Plants vs. Zombies is Now Available in the Mac App Store

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Plants vs. Zombies, a hugely popular game for iOS devices, is now available in the Mac App Store.

Get ready to soil your plants in an all-new action-strategy game from PopCap! A mob of fun-loving zombies is about to invade your home, and your only defense is an arsenal of 49 zombie-zapping plants. Use peashooters, wall-nuts, cherry bombs and more to slow down, confuse, weaken and mulchify 26 types of zombies before they can reach your front door. Each zombie has its own special skills, so you’ll need to think fast and plant faster to combat them all. But be careful how you use your limited supply of greens and seeds: as you battle the fun-dead, obstacles like a setting sun, creeping fog and a swimming pool add to the challenge. And with five game modes to dig into, the fun never dies!

You can purchase Plants vs. Zombies for $9.99 from the Mac App Store.














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Apple Grabs 60% of Global Touch Panel Capacity Causing Tight Supply

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Apple has reportedly secured close to 60% of global touch panel capacity, causing tight supply for its competitors, according to a DigiTimes report.

Sources from tablet PC makers also pointed out that the component shortage is causing their shipment volumes to be unable to catch up with their orders, especially for second-tier players. Touch panels are currently suffering the most serious shortage due to Apple holding control over the capacity of major touch panel makers such as Wintek and TPK, and with US-based RIM, Motorola and Hewlett-Packard (HP) also competing for related components, second-tier players are already out of the game, the sources noted.

The sources pointed out that glass capacitive touch panels are the part that the second-tier players are unable to acquire, although thin-film capacitive touch panel makers are already capable of making their products fit onto tablet PCs, since thin-film technology still has obvious differences in terms of durability and feel compared to glass technology, despite that thin-film panels will still see demand from smartphones, tablet PCs are expected to be dominated by glass panels.

In 2010, Apple's production of the iPad was slowed by low yields of touch panels. Recently, Apple COO Tim Cook reported that Apple has entered into secret long term component supply contracts worth $3.9 billion over the next two years.


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How Apple Got Away With Breaking PR Rules During Antennagate

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Apple's handling of Antennagate went against five key rules of handling a public relations crisis, according to a report by Joshua Gans in the Harvard Business Review.

For several weeks, Apple looked like a laughing stock. But by mid-July, the issue was gone. And not just negated, but pretty well forgotten.

How did Apple achieve this seemingly impossible public relations feat? By breaking 5 key "rules" ingrained in the public relations playbook. Jobs & co. did none of these — and that is why he succeeded in capturing the higher ground.

Five Rules Apple Broke:
1. Apologize and take full responsibility.
2. Don't create expectations with a media event.
3. Announce the give away first.
4. Avoid specific comparisons with competitors.
5. Don't air your industry's dark secrets.


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Steve Jobs to Meet With President Obama tomorrow

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Steve Jobs will meet with President Obama tomorrow during an event with San Francisco business leaders, according to ABC.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who recently took a medical leave of absence from his company, and Google chief executive Eric Schmidt will be among the attendees of President Obama's event with business leaders in San Francisco Thursday evening, a source familiar with the event tells ABC News.

Earlier today, ABC News reported that one attendee would be 26-year-old founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, according to a source familiar with the meeting.




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Steve Jobs Receiving Treatment at Stanford Cancer Center?

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Steve Jobs is reportedly receiving treatment at the Stanford Cancer Center, according to multiple reports.

RadarOnline.com has confirmed Jobs, 55, has been attending the Stanford Cancer Center in Palo Alto, California, where Swayze sought radical chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer before his death in September, 2009.

The National Enquirer today published photos of the Apple CEO looking frail and weak.

Mr Jobs weight is said to have dropped from a pre-cancer 175lb to 130lb now, according to the National Enquirer. His thinning hair is a sign of the effects of the advanced chemotherapy usually used to treat the disease. The photos, which were taken on February 8, showed Mr Jobs going for breakfast with his wife Laurene Powell before heading to the Stanford Cancer Centre in California.

The National Enquirer is running the story with headline, "Apple Boss 6 Weeks To Live". Of course, their prognosis is wild speculation. Nevertheless, we wish Jobs a speedy recovery if any of this is true.




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