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Apple’s Newest Retail Store in Portland, Oregon | View Gallery >

Apple's new Senior Vice President of Retail and Operations, Angela Ahrendts, recently attended the opening of Apple's new London store. Ahrendts was in Omotesando, Japan to unveil another large-scale, two floor Apple retail storefront yesterday. While much of the media focus has been on Ahrendts herself — and the amazing retail glass architectural wonders Apple continues to erect — it is Apple’s direction for retail outlets that merits investigation.  

On the international stage Apple is loudly promoting its large, standalone retail stores. However, in the U.S., Apple is very quietly moving into ever larger spaces.

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iWatch Would Mark Many Firsts For Apple

by: Mark Reschke | May 30, 2014

Apple_hifiApple isn't interested in the accessory market, or is it? On Wednesday, acquired Beats Electronics, putting it squarely back into the world of ancillary products. Couple the Beats purchase with rumors of Apple developing a watch-like device, and one would think Apple is also about to re-introduce the iPod Hi-Fi (okay, personally I wouldn’t mind). With all the talk of a wearable Apple product, often described as iWatch, it would certainly mark many firsts for Apple.

New Product Category: Apple has never built a full-on wearable product. There was the 6th generation iPod nano, which quickly became a watch-like device for the exercise enthusiast, but Apple quickly morphed the 7th generation nano into un-wearable form factor. Although the 6th generation was wearable, Apple never intentionally designed it to be a 24/7 wearable product. The 6th generation nano simply took on a 3rd party wrist strap life of its own, and for a while, Apple complied by delivering several watch face choices within the software.

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Apple’s stock price currently hovers in the low $520’s, a far cry from the days of AAPL closing just over $700. Where Apple’s stock price may be headed is up for huge debate, and if you want to believe AAPL is moving to $800, then believe this. If you want to believe Apple is in a free-fall, go here. There seems to be an abundance of Kool-Aid for everyone of any persuasion. Underneath all of the pop culture of stock predictions lies a fundamental question: Did investors ever believe in Apple, or was it only Steve Jobs that they saw someone worth investing in?

Steve Jobs led Apple out of its dark past to make Apple the largest financially solvent tech company in the world. Investors were quick to take note and eagerly followed along. AAPL rose from $10 a share in 2004 to over $350 per share by the time of Jobs death in March, 2011, rising to over $420 a share (which included two stock splits). Apple’s stock price continued to march happily north, peaking at $702.10 on September 19, 2012, nearly a year after Tim Cook had begun to act as full-time Apple CEO. Nothing had seemed to change between Jobs or Cook, just more product market share and financial success. But it wasn’t long after Apple’s dramatic rise to just over $700 that Wall Street began to sour on Apple.

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PagatronI recently discussed the possibilities of Apple holding a Special Event on or before their June WWDC event, with the intent to launch an iPhone 6. The theory is that this leaves the door wide open for Apple to deliver an all new product category in the fall, something akin to a watch-like device or all new Apple TV, which would include more high profile networks, gaming and perhaps Siri control. 

Today, on the heels of this speculation comes another report from Zhan Xaixian of Tawain's Business Times online. Zhan claims Pegatron, one of Apple's growing contract manufacturers, has started to put the pieces in place for iPhone 6 production runs starting in 2Q14. 

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10 Items Apple should Address In 2014

by: Mark Reschke | Jan 03, 2014

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Apple rarely bricks on software implementation or product categories, but every now and then a few splinters crop up. With the new year gearing up, here are 10 items we hope Apple takes the tweezers to in 2014:

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IwatchIn the past few days, Apple filed for the trademark of "iWatch" in both Japan and Mexico. Wall Street has responded by boosting Apple’s value over 5% the past two days. There are many explanations for Apple’s recent slide on NASDAQ, but a long standing theory is because Apple has not entered into a new hardware market since the iPad mini arrived in October 2012. Even with the release of the iPad mini, it was merely an extension of an existing product offering.

Wall Street views Apple as a one hit wonder company, able to stretch any given market they enter for roughly five-years. Therefore, investment firms want to see Apple enter new markets every two years two years. Otherwise the view is that financial growth becomes difficult to achieve in a market filled with Apple vultures like Samsung, who waste little time to take advantage of an opening. In Apple’s financial case, the vultures are also on Wall Street, chomping at the bit for Apple to break out with another hit. 

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