The big day is almost here. After months of speculation, a momentous keynote from Tim Cook, and record preorders, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus will officially hit store shelves this Friday. Apple is going to great lengths to ensure that Friday runs smoothly for its customers and employees.
We’ve tracked down Apple’s retail gameplan so you’ll know what to expect on launch day including what percentage of iPhones Apple Stores are required to hold back, refreshment times (Starbucks usually) and Personal Setup details …
DigiTimes is citing supply-chain sources as stating that Apple is gearing-up its iPhone 6 production plans for an anticipated 80 million sales by year-end. If achieved, it would represent 33 percent year-on-year growth.
Makers in the iPhone supply chain are preparing parts and components for production of up to 80 million units of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus before year-end 2014, according to sources at Taiwan-based iPhone supply chain.
As ever with DigiTimes, the number should be taken with a large dose of salt: while manufacturers will be aware of their own order-books from Apple, and thus have some degree of insight into the company’s expectations for early sales, it’s a stretch to extrapolate from that to sales targets up to the end of the year.
We won’t have too long to wait for a good indication of how well the new models are selling. They go on sale on Friday 19th, and Apple is expected to issue its usual announcement of opening weekend sales on Monday 22nd September. Last year, Apple announced a record 9M iPhone sales in the first three days.
This year’s opening weekend numbers may take a hit, however, with the New York Times reporting that regulatory problems may mean the new models won’t go on sale in China – a massive market – on 19th September.
Via Business Insider
In a rare TV interview, Tim Cook described this week’s launch of the iPhone on China Mobile as “a watershed day” for the company. While the soft-spoken Apple CEO is noted for the humbleness with which he speaks, it’s hard to imagine him describing Apple as being “honored” to do business with many other companies.
I’m so honored to be doing business with … China Mobile. It’s a huge announcement…we’re incredibly impressed with them, we have deep respect for them, and have had from the very first discussion that we’ve had together” …
ComputerWorld noted that Apple’s SEC filing on Friday revealed that Tim Cook lost out on $4M worth of stock as a result of his request to the board in August to revise his compensation arrangements to a deal he felt was fairer to shareholders.
Earlier this year Apple’s board revised Cook’s vesting schedule at his urging. Rather than the two monster stock handouts — which only relied on his continued employment — Cook asked that they be spread out over a 10-year period and tied to the company’s stock performance …
New renders released by the City of Cupertino from Apple’s planning documents provide the most detailed view yet of what life inside the company’s new spaceship headquarters will be like.
Illustrating everything from cafes to car-parks, the renders are intended to provide a feel for what the building will be like to work in, rather than just its appearance as a structure. They also include additional renders of the upper level of the 1,000-seat auditorium.
Full gallery below …
Alongside the launch of the iPad Air tomorrow, Best Buy is holding some special price promotions for some MacBook and older iPad models. The company says that it will provide $100 discounts on all MacBook Air models on Friday and Saturday. The offer will be available both via the company’s online store and in its chain of physical retail stores. If you don’t absolutely need one of these devices this week it is best to hold tight and watch 9to5Toys (on Twitter too!) as we expect even heavier discounts throughout the holiday season.
The company will also offer a discount on the non-Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro. Currently, the Best Buy Online Store offers the $1499 configuration with 8GB of RAM and a 750GB hard drive for $1349, but the company will take off an extra $150 ($1249) for Friday and Saturday. Like with the MacBook Air deal, this offer is applicable both in-store and online. Keep in mind, that for $50 more, you can get a thinner, lighter Retina 13-inch MacBook Pro, but that will come with substantially less storage and half the RAM.
In addition to the price cuts on Macs, buyers of the fourth-generation iPad with Retina display at Best Buy stores will get a $25 gift card. With the iPad Air coming in at $499, this older iPad model will cost $449 before the gift card. Also, the wireless Jawbone Jambox speaker system will be cut from $149 to $199. The speaker deal will run from Friday until Saturday this weekend, and the iPad 4 deal is already live.
As we reported on Friday, the in-store pickup which appeared briefly on Wednesday last week has returned to Apple’s online store. The option allows customers to purchase a phone online and collect in a store. However, supplies remain extremely constrained with many stores already reporting that devices are “unavailable for pickup”, including Fifth Avenue.
With online orders reporting dispatch estimates of October, the in-store pickup option may prove lucrative for people still looking to get their hands on Apple’s flagship phone. It is currently unknown how often in-store pickup stock will be replenished.
Specials.9to5Toys.com this month has a “Name Yor own Price Bundle” which is a bit of a misnomer since you’ll need to pay above the average which is currently below $10. You’ll get Camtasia which allows you to “Easily Create Stunning Screen Captures & Video Recordings” and well as CrossOver which allows you to run Windows programs on your Mac for the sub $10 price. Then there are 8 more great Mac Apps. At below $10, you can’t miss.
This upcoming Friday and Saturday, Best Buy will hold an iPad trade-in-program, the company told AllThingsD. The promotion will give at least a $200 gift card in exchange for iPad 2s and third-generation iPads. The iPad-focused promotion is reportedly in response to the successful iPhone version that occurred last month.
Update: the Best Buy iPad Trade-in Sale has gone live, below:
Some customers have already been able to get their hands on iPad minis in-store through resellers ahead of tomorrow’s official 8 a.m. launch. With only hours to go, New Zealand is one of the first countries to officially start selling the device.
The photos below, courtesy of AMA Creative, are of the iPad mini launch at New Zealand Apple reseller YOOBEE. The store opened at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, officially kicking off the iPad mini’s launch. It’s unclear how supplies of the new iPads will be in comparison to the recent iPhone 5 launch, but we expect Apple and third-party resellers to sell of out of iPad minis quickly due to pre-order delays.
After rolling out the device to 22 more countries last month, BGR.in reported today that multiple sources confirmed Apple is preparing to launch the iPhone 5 in India on Oct. 26:
Multiple sources have confirmed to us that Apple is preparing to launch the iPhone 5 in India on the last Friday of this month, which happens to be October 26. As we had exclusively reported earlier, Apple will be distributing the iPhone 5 in India on its own rather than relying on its carrier partners.
Apple confirmed last month in a press release announcing sales of 5 million units for the iPhone 5’s opening weekend that it still plans to roll out the device to more than 100 countries by the end of 2012. BGR.in previously reported that Apple will handle sales of the iPhone 5 in India this year, with carrier partners Aircel, Airtel and others offering nano SIMs and special tariff plans for the device.
Just as it did for the iPhone 5, Apple posted schematics for the new fifth-generation iPod touch and seventh-generation iPod nano—both of which will be available to customers in the coming weeks. The blueprints are certainly useful if you are in the accessory game. You can see the iPod touch above (get a look at where the Loop is and the top area that should not be obscured by metal) and the iPod nano past the break (also notice a Bluetooth antenna area):
Apple’s stock opened at a record $690 per share following its triumph in the pivotal patents trial against Samsung last Friday. Today is the first day of trading since Apple came out on top and its latest record soars past the previous best of $674.88 per share. The unparallelled all-time high also forced Apple’s market capitalization to $637 billion.
Check it out: NASDAQ:AAPL
Following Apple’s Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announcing a record weekend for the new iPad, AT&T just issued a statement confirming “a new single-day record” for both sales and activations for the launch of the new device. Apple never released official sales numbers for the launch of the iPad 2, but it was estimated to have sold between 500,000 and a million units on its début weekend. The full press release from AT&T is after the break.
On Friday, March 16, AT&T set a new single-day record for its iPad sales and activations, demonstrating robust demand for the new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G network, covering nearly 250 million people.
Update: Verizon issued a decidedly less upbeat statement:
“We are quite pleased with sales, which have been brisk through the weekend, and we are excited to offer customers an alternative that lets them enjoy their new iPad on the nation’s largest 4G LTE network.”
We’ve been told by an Apple Store source who has been reliable in the past that preparations are being made for a big Apple Store event which will culminate on Friday, March 16th. Naturally, this points to an iPad 3 launch on the Friday just nine days after tomorrow’s announcement. We’ve previously noted that an Apple Store in London at the world famous Harrod’s will open on that date as well as a new Store in Houston, Texas.
Speaking of Texas, Apple will NOT be putting up a temporary store at SXSW in Austin this year according to the The Austin American-Statesman. Last year, Apple built a temporary Store at the event that coincided with the launch of the iPad 2.
Last year, Apple’s then-CEO, Steve Jobs, announced the release of the iPad 2 on March 2. The pop-up store opened at the start of the SXSW Interactive Festival on March 11, 2011. The store, at the Scarbroughs building on Congress Avenue and Sixth Street, sold the tablet, as well as accessories, during the festival.
The show runs from March 9-13 this year.
Yesterday, two simultaneous reports came out stating the name of Apple’s new product would be the ‘iPad HD’ and recently more and (iM)ore evidence points to an LTE version being announced. Today, Verizon began teasing a “Something is Coming” campaign.
Interestingly, we were told that there would be a subsequent launch event a week later but he had no further information on the the subject matter. This could be a separate Apple product (AppleTV?) or perhaps additional International launches of the iPad.
We’ll have live coverage of tomorrow’s event as it unfolds.