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AppleCare+ Protection Plan prices revealed for Apple Watch

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On Friday, April 10th, pre-orders for the Apple Watch began and prices for the AppleCare+ Protection Plan were revealed. The plan, which is an option available for every model of the smartwatch, extends the complimentary warranty by an additional year.

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Both the Apple Watch Sport and the regular Apple Watch come with one year of hardware repair coverage and ninety days of technical support. AppleCare+, which is available for $49 for the Sport model and $69 for the regular model, will extend the hardware repair and phone technical support coverage for two years from the original purchase date. It also adds two incidents of accidental damage which is subject to a $69 service charge for the Sport model and $79 service charge for the regular watch.

The Apple Watch Edition, unlike the other models, comes with two years of complimentary technical support and hardware repair coverage. AppleCare+ is available for $1,500 and will extend the coverage to three years from the purchase date and cover up to two incidents of accidental damage subject to a $1,000 service charge.

AppleCare+ for iPhone and Apple Watch Sport is $1 more than buying them separately, but this extends the buying period to 6 months after the iPhone purchases versus the normal 60 days.

AppleCare+ for iPhone and Apple Watch Sport is $1 more than buying them separately, but buying them together extends the buying period to 6 months after the iPhone purchases versus the normal 60 days.

Apple is also offering a new deal for customers who have a recently purchased an iPhone when they buy their Apple Watch. If customers do not already have AppleCare+ for their iPhone, they can purchase the protection plan for their Apple Watch and iPhone at the same time as long as the watch is purchased from the online store or retail store in the United States, the iPhone must be undamaged and purchased within the last six months.

There’s two ways to add AppleCare+ coverage to the Apple Watch. It can be purchased alongside the watch through the Apple Store website or in-store (when it comes out). It can also be bought within 60 days after buying the watch.

Apple Watch shipping times slip to May, June and July

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Early yesterday morning, pre-orders for the Apple Watch began. All three collections, the stainless steel Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition, sold out of their initial inventory and the shipping estimates are pushed back for a few months.

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The stainless steel Apple Watch, which is the mid-tier watch, retails from $549 to $1,099. Of the twenty models available, most are shipping in June and others are shipping in 4-6 weeks (so early May to late May). The most expensive model, the 42mm watch with the black stainless steel bracelet is not able to ship until July.

The Apple Watch Sport is available in ten models and comes with an aluminum watch case with sport band. It retails for $349 to $399 and is the least expensive watch available. All the models are shipping in June.

The final collection, the Apple Watch Edition, which has the expensive price of $10,000 to $17,000 had a very limited initial supply so it was only minutes after the pre-order started that it would sell out. Like the Sport watch, all the models are shipping in June.

During the initial pre-order phase, the Apple Watch will be sold exclusively online; however, customers can still visit their local Apple Store to try on the watch. You will need to make an appointment first which can be done on the Apple Store website or through the Apple Store app and even if you have no intent on buying one, you can try on the Apple Watch Edition.

Yesterday, Tim Cook stopped by the Palo Alto store in California to meet with people trying on the Apple Watch. He was quoted with saying “Customers have been giving us great feedback and orders have been great, as well. Reaction to the smartwatch has been extraordinary.”

The Apple Watch comes out April 24th.

Apple announces ten more retailers accept Apple Pay

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On Wednesday, Apple updated their Apple Pay retailer’s list to reflect ten more businesses that have announced support for the payment service. This brings the list of accepting retailers to 68 merchants.

The following were just added:

  • Acme
  • Davis Food and Drug
  • FireHouse Subs
  • GameStop
  • Golden State Warriors
  • Luby’s
  • Orlando Magic
  • Phoenix Suns
  • Rubio’s
  • T-Mobile retail

Apple Pay is currently limited to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, but when the Apple Watch comes out on April 24th, the iPhone 5/5s/5c will be able to use the service in conjunction with the watch.

(more…)

AppleCare+ Protection Plan prices start at $59 for Apple Watch Sport

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Last week, 9to5Mac reported the AppleCare+ Protection Coverage prices for each collection of Apple Watch. The smartwatch, which will be available for preorder on Friday, April 10th, comes with one year of limited coverage. The AppleCare+ plans will add an additional year for the stainless steel Apple Watch and aluminum Apple Watch Sport and two additional years for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition.

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The source of this information, 9to5Mac, says that AppleCare+ will cost $59 for the Apple Watch Sport, $79 for the regular Apple Watch and $999 for the Apple Watch Edition. The first two collections, the Sport and the regular watch, will have a total of two years of technical support and support for up to two incidents of accidental hardware damage. There will be a deductible for accidental hardware damage, but this will be significantly less than customers who don’t have AppleCare+. The iPhone, which costs more than the Sport watch, requires a service fee of $79 for repairing accidental damage.

The highly expensive Apple Watch Edition can be covered under the AppleCare+ protection plan for $999. This not only extends the technical support coverage to a total of three years, but it also comes with 24/7 support and a dedicated setup hotline. Like the other collections, it allows up to two incidents of accidental hardware damage.

AppleCare+ can be purchased alongside the Apple Watch on the Apple Retail Store website and physical location.

Apple confirms Apple Watch preorder begins at 12:01am PDT on Friday, April 10th

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Apple just updated their website to confirm that Apple Watch preorders will begin at 12:01am PDT on Friday, April 10th. For those of us on the East Coast, this is 3:01am (so either stay up late or wake up really early).

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The Apple Watch will be available for preorder through the Apple website or with the iPad and iPhone Apple Store app. Sometimes the Apple Store website goes down when there’s many orders going through, fortunately the app will be able to bypass this.

The least expensive model, which is the Apple Watch Sport, will cost between $349 and $399 depending on what size model you are purchasing. The regular Apple Watch retails from $549 to $1,099 and the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition costs $10,000 to $17,000.

On April 24th, the Apple Watch officially goes on sale. This means that you should expect your watch around then if you decide to preorder.

Remember: the Apple Watch only works with the iPhone 5 and newer.

Apple's sales strategy for Apple Watch is leaked online

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With only a few more days before Apple officially launches the Apple Watch, a new leaked document was posted online that shows how Apple is going to convince you to buy a watch. 9to5Mac‘s Mark Gurman picked up this training guide to show the three key points Apple is training its employees to hit when selling the Apple Watch.

The training guide first assumes that many people already know what the Apple Watch is and have decided to purchase one. Between the first announcement date (September 2014) and the release date (April 2015), there will have been seven months which is plenty of time for the unreleased watch to gain traction.

credit: 9to5Mac

credit: 9to5Mac

Apple employees will try to find out three main things from every interested customer: what they know about the device, if their iPhone is compatible and what type of watch they are looking for. The first part will be made by the employees asking discovery questions to find out the ways that the customer plans to use the Apple Watch to enhance their life. The second part is all about compatibility of the Apple Watch since some iPhones (and all other smartphone brands) will not connect to the device. Customers with an iPhone 4S or earlier would need to upgrade before purchasing a watch. Finally, Apple wants to be sure their customers like the Apple Watch they purchase. Employees are interested to find out their customers’ tastes, needs, preferences, etc. Apple wants the watch to be the most personal product ever created so it needs to match up with the customer.

The Apple Watch is expected to be released in early April in the United States with other countries soon to follow.

The first question; credit: 9to5Mac

The first question; credit: 9to5Mac

The second question; credit: 9to5Mac

The second question; credit: 9to5Mac

The third question; credit: 9to5Mac

The third question; credit: 9to5Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook reveals 74M iPhones and 21M iPads sold

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During yesterday’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook discussed the following specifics concerning their mobile devices for the first quarter of the 2015 fiscal year:

  • More than 34,000 iPhones are sold per hour
  • 74.4 million iPhones sold and 21.4 million iPads sold
  • iPhone 6 was most popular last quarter (vs. iPhone 6 Plus)
  • 1 billionth iOS device sold in November (space gray 64GB iPhone 6 Plus)
  • The Health app is integrated in 600 apps
  • More than 30 automobile companies delivering CarPlay in 2015
  • 750 banks and credit unions support Apple Pay (which only works on two devices and came out late October)
  • $2 out of $3 are spent using Apple Pay
  • Apple’s donation for Product(RED) set a new record this year
  • There are 447 Apple Store locations around the world
  • 25 million Apple TV’s sold since it was launched (about 5 million sold in the past year)
  • Cook expects more HomeKit products and more merchants to accept Apple Pay
  • Apple Watch is shipping in April

Apple’s first quarter of the fiscal year 2015 ended on December 27th, 2014. So these earnings and results represent Black Friday and Christmas 2014 sales.

Apple goes all out for (RED) and the Global Fund this year

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Apple is one of the largest supporters of Product (RED) in hopes to make an AIDS FREE GENERATION by funding AIDS programs in Africa.  Since the campaign was started, Apple has donated over $75 million.  This year, they are going all out to send even more money to the Global Fund.

Product (RED) iPod shuffle, $49

Product (RED) iPod shuffle, $49

Instead of the traditional huge discounts on Black Friday for their products, they offered special Product (RED) iTunes gift cards with select purchases.  They also donated a portion of sales from these selected products to the Global Fund.  On Cyber Monday, which was also World AIDS Day, they changed their logos in retail stores to red and donated a portion of all products sold to the Global Fund.  And now, until December 7th, they will donate 100% of proceeds to the Global Fund when Product (RED) participating apps and in-app purchases are bought. Throughout the year, Apple offers most of their products and accessories in red and a portion of these proceeds also goes to the Global Fund.

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(RED), a division of the ONE campaign, was created by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 to help raise awareness and end the AIDS pandemic in Africa.  They work with many companies, like Apple, Starbucks and Bed Bath and Beyond, to create (RED)-branded products that are used to raise awareness and fund the campaign.  Apple’s (RED) products are called Product (RED).  The Global Fund, as said by Red.org, is the recipient of the funds raised by (RED) and is an organization designed to help end AIDS, Tuberculous and Malaria as epidemics.  The money donated to the Global Fund is used to support programs run by local experts in countries with people suffering from these diseases. So when you purchase a Product (RED) iPod or iPhone 6 case, Apple sends a portion of your proceeds to (RED), they place it in the Global Fund and then it is used for raising awareness and helping create an AIDS free generation. It could also be used to provide medication to people currently suffering from these diseases.

Apple announces free Product (RED) iTunes gift cards with selected products on Black Friday [Black Friday Deals]

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Apple has finally announced their Black Friday plans this year and as expected, there will be no discount on products. Instead, Apple will be offering free iTunes gift cards with purchases on select products.  These gift cards will be special Product (RED) cards in honor of World AIDS Day on December 1st. They announced the following deals:

  • iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c come with a $50 gift card
  • iPad Air, iPad Air 2, iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 come with a $50 gift card
  • iPod touch and iPod nano come with a $25 gift card
  • Apple TV and all Beats by Dr. Dre products also come with a $25 gift card
  • iMac, iMac with Retina display MacBook Pro, MacBook Pro with Retina display and MacBook Air come with a $100 gift card

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These gift cards can be used to purchase music, books, movies, apps and other iTunes content.

Although the gift cards are a lot lower compared to other retailers, Apple will donate a portion of all Black Friday sales from the above products to the Global Fund. They will also donate a portion of sales from all gift cards, accessories and products sold on Cyber Monday to the Global Fund.  Finally, 100% of all sales from in-app purchases of Product (RED) apps and purchasing a Product (RED) participating app will benefit the Global Fund.

iPhone 6 shipping times improve ahead of Black Friday and Christmas shopping season

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The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus have been out for about two months and shipping times are starting to see some improvements.  Once the phones launched, shipping times immediately went from a 2-3 business days to 3-4 weeks.  This made people rethink if they wanted to purchase their new iPhone from Apple and wait nearly a month or take a chance at a physical store location.  Now the shipping times have improved slightly ahead of Black Friday and the Christmas shopping season.

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For the iPhone 6, we see shipping times as little as 5 business days up to 10 business days.  The 16GB iPhone 6 in any color on Verizon, AT&T and Sprint will be available to ship in 5-7 business days; this is the shortest amount of time for shipping via Apple’s online retail store. The 64GB and 128GB model with any carrier and color will take 7-10 business days.

The iPhone 6 Plus, however, is a completely different story.  Either this phone is much more popular, which is unlikely since recent reports suggested the 6 is outselling the 6 Plus 3-to-1, or that Apple doesn’t have enough supply for the demand.  The 16GB iPhone 6 Plus has the shortest amount of shipping time in any color or any carrier with 7-10 business days.  The 64GB iPhone 6 Plus, the one I want, in any color and carrier ships in 2-3 weeks.  Finally, the 128GB iPhone 6 Plus in any color and carrier ships in 3-4 weeks.

If you want to purchase a new iPhone from Apple’s online retail store, you may be waiting a week or up to four weeks.  On Black Friday, many retailers like Best Buy, Walmart and Target will be offering huge discounts on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus if you want to stand in line, but you will get the phone immediately.  Apple will also be having their own Black Friday sales, but this is usually a modest price decrease.