Apple and Best Buy have agreed to begin selling both the standard AppleCare protection plan for Macs and the more premium AppleCare+ for iPhones, iPads, and the Apple Watch through Best Buy stores, according to sources. The plans call for Best Buy to begin offering the AppleCare plans in its stores at checkout around the week of September 14th, just ahead of the iPhone 6S launch. This will mark a notable expansion of the Apple and Best Buy relationship, and Best Buy will become one of the only retailers, aside from select U.S. carriers, to offer AppleCare outside of an Apple Store.
Apple this evening has added 10 new retailers to its Apple Pay site, bringing the total to 68 merchants highlighted on its website. Eddy Cue revealed earlier this year that Apple Pay was available in Oracle Arena, home of the Golden State Warriors, and Apple has officially added the arena to its site tonight. Apple also officially added the Amway Center and US Airways Center to the site, although both have previously supported Apple Pay.
Apple previously said contactless payment terminals at over 700,000 locations total support Apple Pay in the US.
German Apple Stores have dropped Vodafone and O2 contracts for both iPhones and iPads, offering them only with Deutsche Telekom contracts or SIM-free. The change affects only post-paid contracts: pre-paid SIMs remain available on Vodafone. Expand Expanding Close
Apple is working to step up the secrecy surrounding future iPhone and iPad models by targeting a frequent source of leaks: third-party accessory makers. 9to5Mac has learned that in fall 2014, just before the iPhone 6 launched, Apple demanded that a number of leading accessory makers sign agreements barring them from seeking out information about future Apple devices, according to four sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter.
On one hand, the agreement dangled the loss of “future business opportunities that Apple and/or its affiliates may present to you” as a potential consequence of violating or not signing the agreement. On the other hand, signing and following it could lead to months-long delays in making accessories like cases available, during the time of year when those cases were most needed and demanded by customers. Expand Expanding Close
Like it did last year, Apple’s participation in this year’s Worlds AIDS Day will include changing the iconic glowing white Apple logo that hangs outside its retail stores to red in order to raise awareness for the fight against AIDS. The new red Apple signage is already up at Apple’s Australian stores (pictured above) as we roll into Dec. 1 local time. Expand Expanding Close
Apple’s Lisa Jackson, who joined Apple in June last year to oversee environmental issues from her previous position as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, sat down for an interview this week with Fortune. As you’d expect, the topic of conversation was all things environmental issues at Apple and Jackson talks about many of the accomplishments the company recently announced for Earth Day. In addition to just stats and Apple’s renewable energy initiatives— Apple’s supply chain is responsible for 60% of its footprint— she also gives some hints at what Apple plans to improve in the future.
Jackson noted that Apple has more work to do getting renewable energy to all of its retail stores, but said its working hard to overcome some of the challenges and reach 100% renewable energy: Expand Expanding Close
When Ron Johnson finalized his decision to move from leading Apple’s retail strategy to become the Chief Executive Officer of J.C. Penney, the executive jumped in his car to drive to Steve Jobs’ home and notify the Apple co-founder in his living room of the decision. During his short car ride to Jobs’ Palo Alto home in the summer of 2011, Johnson likely thought about how he would explain his choice. But what Johnson likely did not imagine is that it would take nearly three years for Apple to find a true new leader for the stores the duo created.
In one of current Apple CEO Tim Cook’s first major missteps, the long-time operations maestro hired John Browett, formerly of Dixons, to run retail. Browett’s hire was immediately met with skepticism from Apple customers and retail employees, but Cook defended the hire and called the British executive the “best [choice] by far” to run Apple’s retail division. In the six months that he ran retail, Browett cut back on employee hours, initiated layoffs, and fell out culturally with the rest of the Apple executive team.
Alongside Scott Forstall, Browett was ejected from the Cupertino-based company, leaving Tim Cook and head-hunting firm Egon Zehnder, again, with the tall task of finding a suitable replacement for Ron Johnson. As the man who ran Dixons, the United Kingdom equivalent to Best Buy, Browett was in many ways built in the image of Johnson. Johnson ran Apple Retail for nearly a decade, and before that he was an executive at both Target and Mervyns. But unlike Browett, Johnson fit into Apple’s culture and was close with both Jobs and Cook throughout his tenure.