Angela Ahrendts Says Apple Won’t Try to Upsell Customers to iPhone X

Apple Store employees won't try to upsell customers to the iPhone X, according to Apple's retail chief Angela Ahrendts.


Ahrendts, who is in Chicago today for the grand opening of Apple's new Michigan Avenue store, told CNBC that Apple recognizes each customer has different needs that may not require purchasing the most expensive iPhone model.
"Internally we said the tagline was 'an iPhone for everyone,'" she said. "I prefer that we ask you who you're buying it for. If they're 6 or 7 years old, what do they need? If it's someone who's leaning into something else, what do they need? We do that with Mac, we do that with iPad, why wouldn't we do that with [the] phone?"
iPhone X starts at $999 in the United States with 64GB of storage, while a 256GB model is available for $1,149. By comparison, the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus start at $699 and $799 respectively.

Ming-Chi Kuo, a reputable Apple analyst at KGI Securities, recently said only 2-3 million iPhone X units will be available to purchase when the device launches. Pre-orders begin October 27 at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time.

Related: iPhone X vs. iPhone 8 vs. iPhone 8 Plus

Related Roundup: iPhone X

Discuss this article in our forums

Angela Ahrendts Climbs to Thirteenth Spot in Fortune’s ‘Most Powerful Women’ List for 2017

Apple's senior vice president of retail stores, Angela Ahrendts, has climbed to grab the 13th spot on Fortune's "Most Powerful Women" list for 2017. In 2015 Ahrendts took the 16th spot, and in 2016 she rose to the 14th spot.

The top 5 women on the list this year are Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO, #5), Abigail Johnson (Fidelity Investments CEO, #4), Marillyn Hewson (Lockheed Martin President and CEO, #3), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo CEO, #2), and Mary Barra (General Motors CEO, #1).


Fortune's list includes a brief summary of Ahrendts' latest accomplishments at Apple:
Since being persuaded by Tim Cook to join Apple in 2014 (she previously led British fashion brand Burberry), Ahrendts has been heads down on the tech behemoth’s largest store redesign in 15 years. In May the company launched its long-awaited “Today at Apple” initiative, which seeks to supplement public education through free courses on everything from coding to music production to photography. Apple’s highest-ranking woman, she oversees 60,000 retail employees and is responsible for the in-store experiences of a more than a million daily customers. Research firm eMarketer estimates that the combined revenue from in-store and online sales is nearly $50 billion. Ahrendts was the second executive after Cook—and the only woman—to take the stage at September’s keynote, where she spoke at length about Apple’s “town squares”—the new moniker for its retail stores.
Ahrendts joined Apple from Burberry in the spring of 2014, when she said she'd bring a personal touch to Apple's retail management. Three years later she has spearheaded the launch of Apple's next-generation retail store design and "Today at Apple" classes worldwide.

Last week, Ahrendts also appeared on stage during Apple's iPhone X keynote event, where she went into detail about new and upcoming Apple Town Square locations in Chicago, Paris, and Milan.

For more information on Fortune's ranking, the site has published a few articles today: explaining the list's continued importance, highlighting the newcomers, and pointing out those who have dropped off the list this year.


Discuss this article in our forums

Students: Last Week to Get Free Beats With Mac or iPad Pro Purchase

If you're a student, it's your last chance to get a free pair of Beats headphones with the purchase of a Mac or iPad Pro this year.


Apple's annual Back to School promotion ends Monday, September 25 in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Singapore.

Apple is offering the choice of a free pair of Beats Solo3, BeatsX, or Powerbeats3 headphones to qualifying students, parents of students, and educators who purchase an eligible Mac, including any new MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac Pro. Refurbished models are ineligible.

The promotion also offers free BeatsX wireless headphones with the purchase of any new 10.5-inch or 12.9-inch iPad Pro, or students can pay $50 extra for Beats Powerbeats3 or $150 extra for Solo3 wireless headphones. Apple's latest 9.7-inch iPad and iPad mini 4 and refurbished models do not qualify.

The deal is available through Apple's online education store, retail stores, and authorized campus stores, or by calling 1-800-MY-APPLE. Apple's terms and conditions outline full eligibility requirements in each country:

The free Beats are in addition to Apple's education pricing.

The promotion ends Monday, October 2 in participating European countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the UK.

In certain participating countries, students are required to verify their enrollment or acceptance in a higher education institution in order to qualify for the promotion. Not a student or looking for better deals? Visit our ongoing Apple Deals roundup for other discounts on Apple products and accessories.


Discuss this article in our forums

Leaked Apple Document Outlines Apple’s iPhone Repair Rules

A leaked Apple "Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide" shared this afternoon by Business Insider provides some insight into how Apple's repair policies work, highlighting how Apple determines when to offer an in-warranty repair, an out-of-warranty repair, or a denial of service.

Dated March 3, 2017, the document is known internally as the "VMI" and covers the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7, along with Plus models. An Apple technician told Business Insider that there's a similar document for all of its products, and that it's generally used for training.

The guide is divided into three sections. The green section denotes problems where Apple will provide a warranty service, the yellow covers issues where Apple will offer out-of-warranty repairs, and the red section contains examples of issues Apple will refuse to fix.

Click to enlarge

Debris under the display glass, a pixel anomaly, FaceTime camera foam misalignment, and a single hairline crack to the front glass are all problems that Apple will fix under warranty, even if there's additional accidental or liquid damage to the device. These are the only issues that can be fixed automatically even with additional damage to a device.

Apple will provide out-of-warranty replacements for liquid damage confirmed by the user, evidence of corrosion, LCD fractures, camera damage from lasers, cracks at a point of impact, damaged Lightning/audio/microphone components, extreme abrasion or puncture holes, and a bent or split enclosure.

Devices that have user-replaced parts, intentional tampering or damage, non-Apple batteries, or catastrophic damage are not eligible for service at all. Enclosure damage, like scratches and scuffs, is not covered and cosmetic problems do not warrant a replacement or repair if there are no other issues.

Apple also has a special set of rules for water damage. Employees are instructed to look for signs of water damage both internally and externally when diagnosing issues, and if there is evidence of contact with water, employees are told to deny some in-warranty repairs and instead offer an out-of-warranty repair.

Click to enlarge

According to Apple employees, the VMI isn't often used unless there's an "oddball issue," and it's also more of a guide than a hard and fast rule when it comes to replacement, as there are many issues that arise that aren't covered here. "There are always those one-off issues that the phone is technically not covered under warranty but we swap the phone anyways under warranty," an Apple technician told Business Insider.

These rules don't apply to devices covered by AppleCare+, as that warranty entitles users to two device replacements or repairs, even for accidental damage, so long as the fee is covered. For out-of-warranty repairs, Apple charges $130 to $150 for screen repairs and $300 to $350 for other damage. With AppleCare+, a screen repair costs $29 and other damage costs $99 to fix.


Discuss this article in our forums

New Star Wars Toys Added to Apple’s Online Store, Including R2-D2 and BB-9E Droids

A collection of Star Wars toys, including Sphero's new R2-D2 and BB-9E droids, are now available to purchase from Apple's online store.


R2-D2 and BB-9E can be controlled with an iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch. More details can be found in our earlier coverage of the droids.

Apple's new Star Wars accessories page also has a trio of Star Wars quadcopter drones by Propel, and a kit for creating your own Star Wars droid.

Apple is also hosting free Star Wars–themed sessions at many of its retail stores starting today through Saturday, September 9.

The new Star Wars toys and sessions are in celebration of Force Friday II, which begins today and runs through this weekend. It's all to promote Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which debuts in theaters December 15.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Now Selling Beats Solo3, Powerbeats3, and Pill+ Speaker in New ‘Neighborhood Collection’ Colors

Apple is now selling a trio of Beats products in new "Neighborhood Collection" colors on its online store and retail stores around the world.


Solo3 Wireless Headphones and Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones are now available in Asphalt Gray, Brick Red, Break Blue, and Turf Green. The Beats Pill+ Speaker comes in only Asphalt Gray and Turf Green.

Solo3 Wireless Headphones ($299.95)
Powerbeats3 Wireless Headphones ($199.95)
Beats Pill+ Wireless Speaker ($179.95)


The new Neighborhood Collection products are also available at Target in the United States, and at retailer John Lewis in the UK.

Apple, Target, and John Lewis stores may still be in the process of receiving stock, so it's best to call ahead. Prices vary in other countries.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Stores Hosting Free Star Wars-Themed Sessions Starting Friday

In celebration of Force Friday II later this week, Apple has invited customers to attend free Star Wars–themed sessions and workshops at select Apple retail stores between Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 9.


Participating countries include the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Hong Kong, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.

Most stores will offer a one-hour session called How To: Build Your Own Star Wars Trailer using an iPad and iMovie:
Explore how to create a Star Wars trailer with authentic footage from the films. You’ll discover signature Star Wars trailer-making techniques in an exclusive video from The Last Jedi director, Rian Johnson. Then you’ll create your own trailer complete with titles, transitions, sound effects, and official Star Wars music using iPad and iMovie.
There will also be Kids Hour: Coding the Droids from Star Wars, in which children ages six to 12 can learn how to program a BB-8 droid:
Join us for an exciting Kids Hour starring the galaxy's favorite droids. Using the same code developers use every day, kids will bring Star Wars droids to life by programming simple movements, loops, and more. Then they’ll design a maze and navigate their droids through the obstacles. Kids can bring their own iPad and Sphero robot, or we’ll provide them.
At Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco, Lucasfilm's VFX and animation studio Industrial Light & Magic will explore how they use animation and 3D modeling to bring the Star Wars galaxy to life.


Force Friday II officially begins at 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on September 1 and runs through the weekend. The promotional campaign is for the film Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which debuts in theaters December 15.

An earlier report said Apple retail stores may carry some new Star Wars toys or merchandise starting on Force Friday II.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Stops Accepting Returns and Exchanges in Hong Kong Ahead of New iPhones

Apple today updated its sales policy in Hong Kong to indicate all products purchased at Apple's online and retail stores in the country on and after August 15, 2017 cannot be returned or exchanged indefinitely.


As an exception to the rule, Apple will still honor exchanges for defective products in Hong Kong at its sole discretion.

Apple didn't provide a reason for the policy change, but it's likely a precautionary move ahead of new iPhone models expected in September. The same policy went into effect in Hong Kong on iPhone 7 launch day last year.

Hong Kong is a hotbed for black market electronics due to the lack of import taxes and duties added to foreign goods purchased, as is the case in neighboring mainland China. Scalpers often attempt to illegally smuggle new iPhones across the border to mainland China to make significant profits.

Hong Kong scalper spotted "walking strangely" across the border into mainland China in 2015 via South China Morning Post

When the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus launched in Hong Kong last year, for example, the smartphones hit the black market for as much as $15,000 in Hong Kong dollars, which was slightly over $1,900 in U.S. dollars.

Apple's standard return policy in Hong Kong is already stricter than in some other countries. For volume purchases of four products or more, the return window is seven days, and there is a 25 percent restocking fee per unit.

Apple will likely revert back to its standard return policy in Hong Kong at some point, but it didn't specify when.


Discuss this article in our forums

AirPods Now Ship in 4 Weeks, Finally Down From 6 Weeks Estimate Since December

Apple has updated its online store today to indicate that AirPods are now estimated to ship in four weeks in the United States, Europe, and many other regions, down from a six-week estimate listed since launching in December.


Apple hasn't disclosed AirPods sales numbers, but CEO Tim Cook has routinely said supply continues to significantly outpace demand. Earlier this week, he revealed that Apple has increased production capacity for AirPods, which has perhaps led to the quicker turnaround time now quoted.
We're also seeing incredible enthusiasm for AirPods, with 98 percent customer satisfaction based on a Creative Strategies survey. We have increased production capacity for AirPods, and are working very hard to get them to customers as quickly as we can, but we are still not able to meet the strong level of demand.
In late December, a few weeks after AirPods launched, Cook said the wireless earphones had been "a runaway success," contributing to a "great holiday" season. Cook cheerfully noted that Apple is making them as fast as it can.

AirPods are Apple's first pair of truly wireless earphones. They instantly turn on and connect to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac when taken out of their charging case, thanks to Apple's custom W1 chip. Likewise, audio automatically plays as soon as you put them in your ears and pauses when you take them out.

AirPods are controlled mainly by Siri. Doubling tapping an earpiece invokes Siri, and voice commands can be used to adjust the volume, change the song, make a call, and so forth. AirPods deliver up to five hours of listening time on one charge, and a 15-minute fast charge provides up to three hours of listening time.

AirPods have received largely positive reviews, and they earned a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate in a recent Creative Strategies survey. AirPods can be ordered on Apple's website for $159 in the United States.


Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Adjusts iPod Touch Prices and Storage: 32GB For $199, 128GB For $299

Apple today tweaked its iPod touch storage and pricing configurations after discontinuing the iPod nano and iPod shuffle.


Apple now offers a 32GB model for $199, and a 128GB model for $299, in the United States. 16GB and 64GB models have been discontinued.

Apple's previous iPod touch lineup was priced as following in the United States:

• 16GB: $199
• 32GB: $249
• 64GB: $299
• 128GB: $399

The new configurations are currently in stock on Apple's online store in the same colors as previously: Silver, Gold, Space Gray, Pink, Blue, and Red.

Apple last updated the iPod touch in July 2015 with an Apple A8 chip and 8-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera.

Related Roundup: iPod touch
Tag: Apple retail
Buyer's Guide: iPod Touch (Caution)

Discuss this article in our forums