Tag: Apple Store

India rejects Apple temples in its country

15-days-yoga-meditation-and-trekking-retreat-in-the-indian-himalayasIndia might have hundreds of thousands of temples, mosques and churches but it is saying no to the latest religion from the US because it is not cutting edge enough.

Apple was planning to build three of its temples of the holy cash pile in India, known as “Apple Stores” but the Indians have told the fruity cargo cult that it must meet a rule obliging foreign retailers to sell at least 30 percent locally-sourced goods.

This has poured cold water on Apple’s plans to use the Apple Stores as a base to rapidly convert the Indians away from their old gods and to something more consumer orientated. India’s smartphone market is still growing, while the rest of the world is losing interest.

A change in legislation last year exempted foreign retailers selling high-tech goods from the rule, which states 30 percent of the value of goods sold in the store should be made in India.

Apple’s products were not considered to be in this category and the company asked for a waiver. However for some reason the Cargo cult did not think that it needed to prove that it needed one. After all Apple is used to just telling governments what to do and they do it.

As a result the Indians looked at the application and rejected it.  The waiver is available only for investment in “state of the art” or “cutting-edge technology” an official said. Apple is apparently neither.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last Saturday. The trip was supposed set the stage for Apple’s expansion plans. Apple planned to open at least three stores in India by the end of 2017.


Rich mainlanders jet to Hong Kong for absurd Apple gear

Rich mainlanders are more than happy to catch a plane to Hong Kong for the latest in status-symbol Apple gear, according to an ex salesman in the region.

Described as “ballin’ rich”, wealthy Chinese would frequently make the hop over to the former British colony to buy blinged out iPads and iPhones, some of which sold for the equivalent of $1,500.

In their time with Apple in Hong Kong, our source described how some “clueless” rich customers would catch flights simply to ask when the iPhone 5 was coming out. Others would buy multiple blinged out iPads and iPhones, with one customer owning 15 of the same model.

Not only that, but some Chinese – from a country where, in parts, Apple products are viewed as an essential status symbol – could not figure out how to download their apps. Some salesmen at this Hong Kong Apple store would charge a hundred dollars on the side to give customers a run through on how to download and run the apps they wanted.

Our source described the whole situation as “insane”. 

PaloAlto's Cubik speakers reviewed

Here we have PaloAlto’s new laptop speakers which are arguably aimed at the Apple crowd. Compatible with both PC and Mac, PaloAlto says the Cubik speakers are a high end system that offers sound which is unmatched by other speakers in its class. 

The first thing you’ll probably notice about Palo Alto’s speakers is the design – a cube but at a weird angle – which makes fitting them on your desk kind of a pain if you live among clutter. I do.

But once you’ve figured out how to screw the base on (not hard) and plugged the things in, they complement a stylish laptop but look very out of place with a desktop. That was the idea. PaloAlto says that the way they are designed means you can place them anywhere in a room and get the same quality of sound – which you do. 

Unfortunately they are not particularly portable, so one assumes they are intended for the user with a desktop replacement laptop. Fortunately for Palo Alto there are a lot of those out there, and they’re available to buy on the Apple store, which shouldn’t hurt revenues. Again, the portability is testing for someone who moves around a lot but doesn’t like the  generally tinny sounds that come out of, say, a netbook. Headphones are still the best bet on that front. Especially because you’re going to need a power supply – these aren’t some flouncey USB powered speakers, they need proper juice.

Impressively, they handled Skream’s dub island and you could still hear the beats over the top. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eWnp_RwKCU It struggled about half-way through, but a worn out or elderly sub can give you the kind of wobble you don’t want to hear. The Cubiks have long-vent advanced enclosure, which is the technology that enables the rich sound and bass from a small system. 

A problem was the controls. They’re on the speaker itself, which is fine, but the way the individual speaker is designed and sits on your desk means you’ve got to reach around to turn the volume up or down. The buttons were not particularly clearly marked, so if you’re a forever alone basement dweller they will be no good for 2am bouts of Starcraft with the lights off. 

You can tell why when you switch them on. The design is incredibly clever. It manages to deliver a respectable amount of bass without totally muddying the music. Of course, it won’t compare to a real sub-woofer or high end gear, but in a touch, they’re an OK buy for what they can do. 

PaloAlto claims that the Cubiks are of a comparable quality to BOSE PC speakers and for half the price, at £179.49. Admittedly, there are similar options in the same class that cost a lot more – but we would still recommend a full set up for sound buffs regardless. Those are upgradeable. I have to say that my six year old Creative I-Trigue speakers, which have been used an awful, awful lot, still deliver clearer clarity and overall sound quality, with a fuller experience. Personally, the price tag seems a little high for the product you get. Although it is undoubtedly a smart design with impressive quality for what they are, music buffs will still probably prefer a more serious, fuller option.

We had a dubstep DJ and music producer give the speakers a run through. He was impressed with the punch they pack for the size and set-up, but ultimately, said in a pinch they wouldn’t do for basic sound engineering or, in his opinion, listening. But he still liked them, because they are a likeable product.

Apple treats unwelcome visitor with extreme prejudice

A California Apple Store was the centre of an early morning drama today, where a burglar lost his life after a ram-raiding attempt was bungled.

Three people, two men and a woman, smashed the Chula Vista store’s front windows some time before 7am today. Reports say Apple’s store manager was inside the building. A nearby security guard spotted and confronted the three before, he alleges, one produced a handgun.

Shots were exchanged until the burglars fled in a car, but the driver, who had been shot, crashed and lost his life.

The other two were found hiding in a patio nearby an hour later.

Signs On San Diego claims local schools were shut down on the safe side but since have opened their doors. Police are investigating.

So far, two guns have been found – one on the dead getaway driver and the other on the man who was arrested. 

Gung-ho firearms enthusiast and TechEye’s friend at I4U, Robert Evans, tells us it’s not that difficult to be a mall-dwelling gun-for-hire. 

“Since 2004, when AB 2880 was enacted into law, a guard needs to have California guard card with 40 hours of training in the first year, and 8 hours of training annually to renew,” he tells us.

“More hours are needed to qualify for a firearm and baton. Here are details on getting your guard card but here is a site that offers the guard card within 7 days. And here is the state security guard’s manual.

“To qualify with a firearm, the officer must take an 8 hour course. I’ve taken the same thing. It consists of sitting in a room for eight hours, hearing about legal self defense cases and going over various scenarios.

“There’s a brief shooting test to qualify. Anyone with a modicum of firearms experience can pass it. Regular training is not necessary, as long as you don’t flinch like crazy and have the physical strength required to keep a handgun steady. It’s pretty much a basic motor skills test.”

iPad 2 could see shortages outside of flagship Regent Street store

How many in the long Apple Store Regent’s Street queue are going to go home empty handed? Probably very few for the dedicated early adopters, but the rest of the country could face a let-down.

Over in the States, an Apple store inGenius confirmed to a journalist that plenty Apple stores only received a third of the shipments they were expecting.

While its flagship store in London sees keen buyers forming a neat and jolly queue as they line up to hand over at least £399 of their dosh, Apple stores in the States received as little as 10 models – all WiFi only.

A psychology expert suggested to CNET  that controlling the supply of Apple’s fruity devices plays on a part of the subconscious psyche held in all of us called “loss aversion”. This means that if a customer has been having a tough time tracking down anything, including an iPad 2, the “unconscious mind is running a process to protect us a lot of the time” which is loss aversion, and it tries to make us feel ok in the future.

So if a product is easily available the customer is worrying about finding the best deals. But if a customer goes to a company with a tight control on supplies, he or she is more likely to be so glad to find it they’ll snap it up at whatever the cost. Kind of like Arnie in Jingle All The Way.

With a low stock, Philip Graves, the psychologist who talked to CNET suggests that heightened desirability is also implicit. It makes the desired item seem more attractive and that in turn gives the product a “wow” factor.

According to Firebox, which is down at the queue, there are about 500 people in line right now.

Whatever the reasons for Apple reportedly slow-leaking the product into its markets, there’s a chance that component shortages weeks ago could hold influence. As we said last week, a simple search for the word “shortage” on our website will give you a hint.

Chinese 'yellow cow' iPhone 4 scalpers milk 'golden opportunity'

In Chinese, scalpers are called “yellow cows”. It’s an old story, with its origins back in the mists of ancient days in the Middle Kingdon. But this month, Apple has been forced to stop direct sales of its iPhone 4 at its retail outlets in Beijing and Shanghai due to rampant scalping.

Just 13 days after the company launched the new phones in the communist country, the “yellow cows” started milking what they saw as a golden opportunity, and all hell broke loose.

After Apple launched the popular handset in China on Sept 25, customers began lining up in front of four main Apple stores in the two cities. But as often happens in that land that Mao launched, the popularity of the iPhone 4 gave China’s legions of “yellow cow” scalpers their golden opportunities.

What did these savvy scalpers do? They hired people to line up outside Apple stores and charged an extra 600 yuan per phone. According to the Shanghai Morning Post, the Sanlitun Apple store was forced to close it doors on Sept 29 due to “yellow cow” activities.

In the wake of the attack of the ”yellow cows”, Apple China has now announced new rules for purchases of the iPhone 4 on its website. Customers have to pre-order the phone online with their real name and pick it up from Apple outlets with their identity card or passport.

Each customer can only pre-order one iPhone 4 per day, in order to discourage scalping.

“It’s a very good way to prevent scalping,” said one Beijing office worker, adding: “In fact, I’d rather not have an iPhone 4 than pay unscrupulous scalpers.” 

Apple struggles to make white iPhone 4

Today’s launch day for Apple’s latest very, very expensive toy, the iPhone 4, in the UK. Fanboys who want a black iPhone to match their black turtlenecks are in luck, but those after a white iPhone may be out of luck – the Cupertino company is struggling to make them.

It released a brief statement to the Apple-friendly press, saying that the white version of the iPhone 4 is “more challenging to manufacture than expected, and as a result they will not be available until the second half of July”.

We first saw this on the Wall Street Journal’s technology page, but it was strangely removed when we looked again. A cynic could speculate that a story that essentially boils down to “Hurrrrrrrr, colours are hard” would take some weight off its lead technology story yesterday, Walt Mossberg reviewing the iPhone 4 and gushing all the way. 

Here’s the official statement from Apple

Macworld noted that the white iPhone 3G had teething issues when it was released back in 2008, where the first plastic models often ended up with cracks on the case. 

Macworld also points out a peculiarity in Apple’s statement: it says the “availability of the more popular iPhone 4 black models is not affected.” More popular, of course, because currently there’s a choice of exactly one model.

We recommend anyone who’s been queing at Regent’s Street this morning to avoid bitter disappointment by simply tippexing around the case of their black iPhones. 

Apple flogs all 3G iPads in a weekend

Apple’s mobile-ready iPad 3G has been selling like hot-apples since it launched in the States last Friday, having completely sold out in Apple’s New York, Boston, Houston and San Francisco stores.

Analyst Gene Munster, of Piper Jaffray & Co., reckons Apple managed to flog 300,000 of its 3G toys over the weekend alone, including pre-orders and online sales.

The weekend rush buyers faced to get their mitts on the pricier 3G model means Apple has now sold over a million iPad altogether.

The 3G capable iPad is sending existing Wi-Fi only iPad owners into an upgrading frenzy, with over 250 owners selling their models on eBay to trade in.

While enthusiasts and fanboys are quick to make sure they’ve got the latest and greatest models – maximum spend is for the 64GB model, at a whopping $829 – Forrester Research reckons that consumer America is waiting to see how the goods, er, pad out before making a decision. Christmas will be a good indication of where the iPad is going, according to Forrester.

While having sold out of its new 3G models in a single weekend sounds great on paper, it is worth keeping in mind that Apple has only been dripping its very ‘limited stock’ into the market – possibly, a cynic may suggest, to keep demand for the product high and the hype train rolling for as long as possible.

Those who have managed to get their hands on an iPad 3G will be happy to know that a geek has figured out how to switch carriers from the standard AT&T contract. Head on over to Pocket-Lint here to see how a steady handed surgeon has whittled down a SIM to plonk in your iPad.

Apple US to release 3G+wi-fi iPad on 30 April

Cupertino design outfit Apple said that US customers will be able to buy the wi-fi+3G models of its iPad in shops from 5PM on April the 30th.

The wi-fi+3G models will cost $629 for 16GB models, $729 with 32GB and $829 for 64GB – suggesting that doubling the memory costs $100 a throw.

Apple claims that these models will deliver 10 hours of battery life if using wi-fi, and nine hours of surfing the web using a 3G data network.

AT&T will provide the basic infrastructure for 3G with pre-paid data plans for the iPad.

Apple said it will announce international pricing and begin taking online pre-orders for iPad on May the 10th. As Apple says in a footnote, “actual results vary”.