Apple has announced that, just like last year's iPhone launch, they will be temporarily shutting down their 5th Avenue flagship store in the U.S. to prepare for the launch. They will be closing the doors at midnight on the 10th, and will reopen at 8AM. While the shutdown was expected, it is significant given that the store is normally open 24-hours a day year-round.
With the new in-store activation policy, one of the chief concerns for many that were planning to pick up an iPhone 3G on launch day are how long it will take Apple and AT&T to move through the inevitably long lines of people waiting to get their iPhone 3G on July 11th. Most (us included) have been guessing that it would take a long time, and now Apple is saying the concerns may be accurate.
The iPhone 3G's weren't supposed to go up in their displays until the device had actually launched, but one has found it's way to a display stand in a Swiss iPhone 3G store well ahead of it's intended launch date, where it can be walked up to, picked up, and played with by anyone to walk in off the street. Pictures after the break.
It looks like Apple is taking this anti-Rogers thing more seriously than we thought. According to AppleInsider, Apple has decided that, due to the crappy and hugely overpriced data plans being offered by Rogers Wireless and Fido for iPhone 3G customers in Canada, and the resulting overwhelming negative public response toward them, Apple will not be selling the iPhone 3G in any of their Canadian stores. The news came during a private conference call Monday evening from Apple representatives.
While it has widely been rumored that the iPhone would be going on sale at 8AM on July 11th, and AT&T had already confirmed that that is when it would be going on sale in their stores, Apple had yet to make a formal announcement about what time of day their Apple Stores in the U.S. would start selling the device. They formally announced today after their conference call that Apple Stores in the U.S. at 8AM, just like AT&T stores.
You're still going to have to wait to purchase an iPhone 3G, but you can see one (a really big, shiny one) if you visit an Apple Store today. They have set up their iPhone 3G displays, and are visible if you visit an Apple Store later today you can check it out for yourself. Much like last year, they consist of a really big iPhone 3G mockup in front of a big poster that says "Twice as fast. Half the Price. iPhone 3G."
Apple is boosting their iPhone retail efforts in both Germany and Italy to ensure sufficient availability of the iPhone 3G when it launches in July. Because Apple has few retail locations in these countries, they have chosen to make deals with other companies to sell the iPhone to make up for their own lack of retail presence in the countries.
According to an industry publication, Apple Stores in the UK may not be able to sell the iPhone 3G when the July 11th launch date rolls around. The issue stems from the fact that their new policy requires customers to sign up for a contract in-store instead of through iTunes at home. However, Apple UK stores are not able to run credit checks, and store staff have yet to be trained in getting customers signed up for contracts.
Apple has finally unveiled their shiny new retail store in Sydney, Australia, marking Apple's first retail location in the country. The impressive structure is located at 367 George Street, built into the first three stories of a large office building. The structure is somewhat unusual in it's design, in that it is a shallow, wide space, because the inner core of the building is taken up by elevators and other utilities. As a result, it was built into a shallow space, enclosed on the front by a glass box. Photos after the jump!