According to Apple, the company has seen almost 300 million worldwide visitors so far in its fiscal 2012…To give you some type of comparison, by July 2011, the population of the United States was estimated to be 311 million people.
There is also an interesting data point from Apple’s retail Genius Bar. According to the company, 50,000 people get serviced at a Genius Bar around the world, every single day.
That’s no joke. Stand outside an Apple store for a few minutes and you will see hordes of people, of all ages and types, looking for help.
It’s actually quite impressive that they haven’t had any major problems with customer service.
The consumer electronics giant will increase the headcount at its European headquarters in the southern city of Cork over the next 18 months from 2,800 at present, a spokesman for the company said.
He said the jobs would “support our growing business across Europe.” The Cork operation provides distribution, supply chain management and back office functions.
While workers are still being laid off as consumer spending continues to shrink, Dublin has succeeded in attracting Google and Facebook thanks to its low corporate tax rates and educated, English-speaking workforce within the eurozone.
The “major hiring campaign” by Apple will kick off in the next few weeks, according to Israel’s Ynetnews. The new positions will work at Apple’s R&D center in Haifa.
The company is expected to rely on the assistance of a “headhunter” who will handle the hiring of “dozens of candidates simultaneously.”
The new employees will join the roughly 200 personnel at Anobit, a flash memory company that Apple purchased in late 2011 for a rumored $490 million price. That strategic acquisition is expected to help Apple secure capacity of flash memory for devices like the iPhone, iPad, and MacBook lineup.
Apple’s new hires will be located in Haifa’s Scientific Industries Center, an international technology center known as Matam. Other companies with operations there include Google, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
The number 2 grocery chain in South Korea, Home Plus, is looking to improve sales through innovation. They have created a virtual store offering “500 items including food, electronics, office supplies and toiletries.”
The store is at an underground subway station in Seolleung, located in the south of Seoul, South Korea, a city of 10 million people. It takes up seven pillars in the stations and six walls. On it are life size pictures of items in a real store.
Next to each item is a small barcode, actually a QR code. Shoppers use their smartphone and a downloadable app to scan and make purchases.
The order is then sent to the store closest to the shoppers home and a delivery truck completes the order. Dropping off a box of groceries at your front door.
it’s very similar to shopping on Amazon or using Peapod, but represents one of the first successful physical stores for an online service.
Taken from Amusing Planet, where they also have a video introducing the concept.
Selling consumer electronics isn’t as easy as it used to be for Best Buy. The big-box retailer is closing 50 stores and compensating employees based on customer service after its fiscal fourth-quarter sales fell short of expectations.
The company today reported a fiscal fourth-quarter net loss of $1.7 billion, on revenue of $16.63 billion, up 3 percent from a year ago.
Best Buy’s problem: Amazon. Best Buy has been trying to grow its e-commerce business to compete better, but the big-box approach to selling consumer electronics isn’t what it used to be. That reality has Best Buy thinking small.
The company outlined the following moves:
It will cut $800 million in costs by fiscal 2015.
Close 50 big-box stores this fiscal year.
Open 100 Best Buy Mobile and small stores this year.
Boost online revenue by 15 percent.
And Best Buy will change its employee compensation model to revolve around customer service and business goals.
“The company is gradually becoming a physical showroom for online retailers,” said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.
After one year, Amazon’s Kindle Fire has 31,000 apps:
March 15, 2012 – Amazon Appstore for Android, which helped lay the foundation for a big Kindle Fire launch, is celebrating its one-year anniversary and has now eclipsed 31,000 apps, up from 4,000 at launch. That’s a strong first year for an app store that began as an alternative to the Android Market and then became the primary channel for Kindle Fire users to get their apps.
And, after one year, Apple’s iPad had 75,000 apps:
April 3, 2011 – One year exactly after its 2010 release, the iPad app store held 75,000 apps. Three months later, another 25,000 have been added for a total surpassing 100,000, according to MacStories. Can that pace continue? It’s hard to believe that it will, but the number of apps added to the App Store for the iPhone hasn’t slowed at all, recently surpassing the 500,000 mark.
Here is an interesting debate between Josh Topolsky and MG Siegler talking about Apple’s new iCloud strategy.
Josh is making the case that Apple is completely ditching the Internet, and MG is countering that Josh is missing the App revolution.
Josh: “When it comes to Apple, it feels to me like the company views the web as a technology which undermines rather than enriches its products. It wants you to talk to the cloud, but only through its portals and its gateways, in closed loops and private networks…(the iCloud comes) to fruition in terms of syncing, activation, and even file storage and management… but the company seems to have forgotten the one big piece…the web front-end for these services. Instead of pulling up the stakes here, Apple should be doubling down. The internet is not just going to go away.”
MG: “His entire argument is based on what I believe to be a fallacy: that Apple is going to completely turn their back on Web support for iCloud…Topolsky seems to do what many of us now do: interchange the meaning of the words “Web” and “Internet”…the Web (that is, the World Wide Web — HTML documents linked together).”
MG: “I woud argue that Apple is attempting to redefine at least a part of what the Internet is with iCloud…Further, I applaud Apple for not taking an approach to the Internet that is more or less creating another Google Docs clone. Or Flickr killer. Gmail replacement. Facebook eater. Etc…Apple is doing what they do best: re-imagining the way things are done.”
After reading this all I can think of is my Bank of America app and all of its bill paying friends (Etrade, ATT, Fidelity, American Express). Would I rather sit in front of a desk with a computer to check balances and pay bills? Or, would I rather sit at a neighborhood cafe or be johnny-on-the-spot checking a balance right before I buy something?
This means that Apple is at it once again “re-imagining the way things are done” as MG Siegler says. Imagine where this App fiasco will take us…causing a drastic reduction in web browsing, with the new norm being 75% of internet data use via apps and only 25% via browsers?
It appears to be heading that way since every major player has an App or an App Store. Heck, Apple is even switching over their operating system to Apps (see OSX Lion). We might even be witnessing the birth of the new operating system, the ultra-powerful but super-simple App OS.
Are we saying bye-bye to folders and windows and hello to bright shiny picture buttons?