First Apple Store in Taiwan to Open on July 1

Apple's first retail store in Taiwan will open on Saturday, July 1 at 11:00 a.m., according to Apple's Taiwanese website, which the company has been updating with new details on the store since it was announced.


To celebrate the store's opening, paper-cutting artist Yang Shih-yi will showcase a huge and intricate tree cutout designed to welcome people into the store and highlight a tree as a gathering place theme. The same design currently decorates the boarding protecting the store from sight as construction finishes.

Image via AppleDaily

Apple's Taiwan store is located on the ground floor of the Taipei 101 shopping mall in the Xinyi district, notable because Taipei 101 is the fourth tallest skyscraper in the world. The new store will use the updated design that was first introduced at Apple's flagship San Francisco location, with simple product displays, a repair area, gathering spots, and dedicated areas for "Today at Apple" classes.

Customers can begin signing up for Genius Bar repair appointments and Today at Apple classes starting today.

Apple has opened a total of 495 retail stores across 17 countries, including 270 in the United States since May of 2001. The Taiwan location will mark Apple's 496th retail location.

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Apple Launches ‘Today at Apple’ Classes Around the World

Apple in April announced plans to begin offering "Today at Apple" educational classes at all of its 495 stores around the world, and as of today, the company has launched a new website to allow customers to sign up for the sessions.

More than 4,000 sessions are being offered each day this week across all of Apple's retail stores.


The "Today at Apple" program, which has been in place at Apple's Union Square location since the store opened, offers a range of classes on topics like coding, art, music, design, and photography. There are classes designed for both beginners and more experienced users, as well as classes for all ages, including children.


Most sessions are taught by trained employees known as "Creative Pros," but in select cities, there are classes taught by well-known artists, photographers, and musicians. Session content will vary across different locations, but all 495 of Apple's retail stores are expected to offer "Photo Walks" and "Kids Hour" sessions by May 20.

Today at Apple classes focus on everything from basic iPhone, iPad, and Mac skills to more advanced topics like mixing music on a Mac, editing photos on an iPhone, and drawing on an iPad. There are also "Studio Hours" where customers can bring in personal projects and get help from Apple staff.

Most sessions are an hour in length, with the exception of Studio Hours, which last for an hour and a half.


Apple Store chief Angela Ahrendts says the "Today at Apple" classes are designed to turn Apple locations into a "modern-day town square" where everyone is welcome to "discover a new passion" or take a skill to the next level. "We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins," she said in a statement when the program was announced.

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Singapore’s First Apple Store Opens May 27

Apple's first retail store in both Singapore and Southeast Asia will open Saturday, May 27 at 10:00 a.m. local time, according to an official opening date recently added to the white facade covering the long-awaited Orchard Road location.


As noted by The Straits Times, workers were seen adding the opening date on the white facade that covers the front of the store at the Knightsbridge shopping complex in downtown Singapore close to midnight on Tuesday night local time. Apple has yet to list the store on its website, but it likely will soon.

Earlier this month, Apple began removing construction barriers around the store, revealing a large mural and 12 smaller pieces of artwork that showcase the Apple logo, a heart, and a little red dot, referencing Apple's love for Singapore. "Little red dot" is a widely known nickname for Singapore, home to over 5 million people.

Apple's plans to open its first retail store in Singapore were revealed by gym chain Pure Fitness, which closed in December 2015 to make space for the Apple Store in its exact location. Apple confirmed the store and began hiring retail employees in November 2015, and construction has been underway over the past year.

The store will open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. local time. The location will likely feature Apple's next-generation retail design.

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Tag: Singapore

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Apple Announces New Piazza Liberty Store in Milan, Italy Opening Soon

Apple today announced that it will soon open a new retail store at Piazza Liberty, or Liberty Square, in Milan, Italy.


As revealed in city planning documents earlier this year, the store will be located entirely below the outdoor amphitheater. The sales floor will be accessible by walking down a staircase situated between two waterfalls that form part of the larger fountain. There will also be an elevator available.

Apple is developing the store in partnership with architecture firm Foster and Partners, who have helped design many of the company's most significant retail spaces around the world and its new Apple Park headquarters.


Apple's retail chief Angela Ahrendts wants Apple Stores to be more of community gathering places, rather than just a place to buy the latest iPhone or iPad. As part of those plans, Apple Piazza Liberty will be an open space for all to "have a break, be with friends, and discover new interests."

The store will feature Apple's next-generation retail design with indoor trees and a large screen for "Today at Apple" sessions and other events.

(Thanks, setteBIT!)

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Many Apple Stores Set to Receive Overnight Makeover on May 16

MacRumors has learned that Apple is planning to quickly refurbish several of its retail stores after closing time on May 16, with the overnight transformations to be completed by the time each store reopens on May 17.


Many older and smaller Apple Stores that have yet to be fully renovated with the company's next-generation retail design will receive new fixtures that mirror the updated look and feel as much as possible, according to a source. It's unclear how many stores will be involved, but we've learned it's a worldwide effort.

Apple plans to replace its existing accessory shelves in each store with what it calls the Avenue, as pictured above, a person familiar with the matter said. Apple will also be adding more "feature bays" to each store for displaying products and accessories, and new stools for the Genius Bar and other seating areas.

Here's how Apple described the Avenue when it opened its flagship Union Square store in San Francisco last year:
“The Avenue,” inspired by the window displays along a boulevard that dynamically change with the season. Avenue walls are interactive themed “windows” where Apple’s products and services come to life, from music, to creativity, apps, photography and more. New “Creative Pros,” Apple experts in creative arts, offer advice and expertise at each of the displays. Customers will also find “Only at Apple” products on the Avenue, a curated collection of third-party accessories.
Apple will significantly reduce the number of accessories it keeps on display on the sales floor, but it will still have ample stock in the back of the store, the person said. A customer interested in purchasing an accessory that isn't readily shelved can simply ask an employee, who will grab it from the back.

Apple has over 35 next-generation retail stores around the world, including locations in Brussels, Dubai, London, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, and elsewhere. It has also fully updated and expanded many existing stores with the new look, but those larger renovations usually take several months.

Apple has 460 other retail stores, however, and this quick facelift will bring many of them closer in line with the newer aesthetics.

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Apple Celebrates Opening of New Store at Dubai Mall

Apple's third retail store in the United Arab Emirates opened today at the Dubai Mall, and Apple has shared several photos from its debut on the official Apple news site.

Apple Dubai Mall, located in downtown Dubai, features massive windows with an impressive view of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure in the world, along with the Dubai Fountain below. It spans two stories and offers the design that's been seen in newer stores like Apple Union Square, plus it includes carbon fiber "Solar Wings" and a 186-foot curved storefront.


The new Dubai store features "Today at Apple" sessions focusing on art, design music, photography, videography, and coding, a feature that debuted at the Apple Store in San Francisco last year and will soon expand to all Apple retail stores around the world.


Today at Apple sessions are primarily taught by Creative Pros, which Apple has described as the "liberal arts equivalent" to its more technical Geniuses, but in select cities, well-known artists, photographers, and musicians will also teach classes.

Apple Dubai Mall is the company's third Middle Eastern store, joining stores at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai and the Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

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‘Today at Apple’ Sessions About Art, Music, and Coding Expanding to Every Apple Store in May

Apple today announced that it will be expanding its "Today at Apple" educational sessions to all of its 495 retail stores around the world in May.


"Today at Apple" will offer programs with more than 60 different hands-on sessions in creative skills. The free sessions, which have been offered at Apple's flagship Union Square store in San Francisco since last year, will cover topics such as photography, videography, music, coding, art, and design.
“At the heart of every Apple Store is the desire to educate and inspire the communities we serve,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president, Retail. “‘Today at Apple’ is one of the ways we’re evolving our experience to better serve local customers and entrepreneurs. We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level. We think it will be a fun and enlightening experience for everyone who joins.”
Many sessions will be taught by highly-trained Creative Pros, which Apple describes as the "liberal arts equivalent" to its technical Geniuses. In select cities, Apple says world-class artists, photographers, and musicians will also teach sessions from "basics and how-to lessons" to "professional-level programs."

"Today at Apple" will cater to all skill levels and ages, with special programs such as Teacher Tuesday and Kids Hour targeted towards families and educators respectively. Other sessions will focus on professional software such as Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, or coding with the Swift Playgrounds app for iPad.
Teachers can come together for Teacher Tuesday to learn new ways to incorporate technology into their classrooms, or aspiring coders of all ages can learn how to code in Swift, Apple’s programming language for iOS and Mac apps. Families can join weekend Kids Hour sessions ranging from music making to coding with robots.
Apple said each of its stores will receive large displays created specifically for "Today at Apple" sessions. Each store will also have updated seating and sound. Apple has already renovated dozens of its existing retail stores with these next-generation features since 2015, with dozens more locations to follow this year.

Apple has been redesigning its stores under the leadership of retail chief Angela Ahrendts, the former CEO of luxury fashion brand Burberry. Ahrendts wants to position Apple Stores as not only shopping destinations, but also as gathering places for the community. "Meet me at Apple," she envisions someone as saying.

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Ahrendts, in a new interview with CBS This Morning:
“A lot of the big online guys have said they’re opening stores. Amazon’s investing in stores. Google’s investing in stores. ... Starbucks figured it out, you know? Being a gathering place for – right? ‘Meet me at Starbucks,”’ Ahrendts said. “And you know, I’ve told the teams, ‘I’ll know we’ve done a really, really great job if the next generation, if Gen Z says, “Meet me at Apple. Did you see what’s going on at Apple today?”’”
Apple's latest next-generation store will open at Dubai Mall on April 27, the company recently announced.


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Apple to Dismantle Iconic Glass Cube at Fifth Avenue Store

Apple will soon dismantle and remove the iconic glass cube entrance at its Fifth Avenue Apple Store in Manhattan, New York, which is in the process of being renovated and expanded.

On March 16, Apple filed a permit for the "full removal of the glass cubical structure at the Apple Store entrance," which, according to BuildZoom, was granted on April 17. The removal of the cube will cost Apple $2 million, and according to a second source, could commence on May 9.


Apple is planning to expand its Fifth Avenue store to double the size of the original location. The store is growing from 32,000 square feet to 77,000 square feet, giving Apple more space at its flagship New York location.

It is not yet clear what Apple is planning to do with the cube. It could be temporarily removed to allow for construction underneath, or the company could have bigger cube renovation plans in mind.

This will be the second time the cube has been dismantled -- it was torn down in 2011 to allow Apple to reconstruct it from larger, more seamless glass panes. Prior to 2011, the cube was made up of more than 90 glass panes, but the new cube uses just 15.

While construction is underway at the new location, Apple has temporarily relocated the store to a nearby empty storefront that formerly housed the FAO Schwarz toy store.

Apple has not announced when the new store will be complete, but rumors suggest it will have some notable improvements, including a unique area for a Beats 1 radio station that will enable live in-store Beats 1 broadcasts.

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Apple to Open Flagship Store in Mexico City and Potentially São Paulo

Apple has secured a lease at the Antara Fashion Hall shopping center in Mexico City, where it will open a new flagship retail store, according to a person familiar with the matter. The store's design will be similar to Apple's multi-level World Trade Center location in New York City, the person said.


Antara Fashion Hall will mark Apple's second retail location in Mexico after opening its Via Santa Fe store last year, also in Mexico City. Elsewhere in Latin America, Apple will soon decide whether to open two additional stores in Brazil, potentially including a flagship store in São Paulo, according to our source.

Apple is also exploring leases for its first store in Argentina, which is expected to open by the end of 2018, according to the person. Our source has provided MacRumors with reliable information in the past.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Apple continues to revamp a number of its older retail locations. Apple said its Burlington, Massachusetts store will be temporarily closed for renovations starting April 23, while GeekWire recently uncovered plans for a new University Village store in Seattle.

MacRumors has also received unconfirmed tips about Apple's plans to relocate its stores at Valley Fair in Santa Clara, CA and Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL. Apple now has over 35 next-generation Apple Stores in the United States, including its newly reopened Woodland Mall store in Grand Rapids, MI.

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Tags: Mexico, Argentina

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Apple Said to Add Beats 1 Broadcasting Booth to Iconic Fifth Avenue Store in New York City

Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan will include a "very unique area" for broadcasting its Beats 1 radio station, as part of ongoing renovations, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Apple's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York City

The person did not share any further details, but it's possible that New York City-based Beats 1 radio DJ Ebro Darden could broadcast at least some of his shows at the Fifth Avenue store once it reopens. Currently, he appears to broadcast from a studio in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

As usual, there is a chance this rumor is false, or that Apple's plans will change. However, our source is the same person that accurately revealed Apple's plans for its first retail store in Mexico, prior to any official announcement and over nine months before the Via Santa Fe location opened.

Apple Fifth Avenue, known for its iconic glass cube entrance, has been closed for renovations since January 20. The redesigned store will reportedly have over twice as much square footage, so there will likely be more than enough space for a dedicated Beats 1 broadcasting booth alongside the sales floor.

Beats 1 radio anchor Ebro Darden, based out of New York City

Beats 1 is Apple's internet-based radio station, broadcasted around the clock in over 100 countries around the world. It launched in tandem with Apple Music in June 2015. In addition to Darden, the station is anchored by former BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe, based out of Los Angeles, and London's Julie Adenuga.

Apple Music executive Larry Jackson recently described Beats 1 as "the biggest radio station in the world," and he claimed there is no other station in existence that has as many concurrent listeners at any given time.

Beats 1 can be listened to through iTunes on Mac or PC, or in the Apple Music app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, and Apple Watch. Listening is free, with no Apple Music subscription required.

Apple has not indicated when its Fifth Avenue store will reopen, but renovations are likely to continue for several months. In addition to more space and a Beats 1 broadcasting area, the store will likely feature Apple's next-generation retail layout, in line with stores in Brooklyn, Brussels, Paris, San Francisco, and elsewhere.

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Tags: New York City, Beats 1

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