Apple to Start Reopening Stores in Japan This Week

Apple is set to start reopening its retail stores in Japan this week after having been closed for months because of the global health crisis.


Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman notes that Apple’s website says stores in Fukuoka and Nagoya Sakae will reopen on May 27. Reopening dates for the country’s eight other Apple stores have not yet been posted.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has lifted the country’s nationwide state of emergency, ending restrictions in the remaining areas where the order was still in effect, one week ahead of schedule.

Apple has reopened stores in Australia, Germany, Austria, South Korea, Switzerland and some stores in Italy and the U.S.

The company is taking safety measures as it gradually re-opens stores across the globe. These include temperature checks conducted at the door, limited occupancy, and a renewed emphasis on one-to-one service. As an alternative to entering some physical stores, customers can also expect to see curb-side pickup and drop off options.

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Apple Reopening 25 US Stores and 12 in Canada This Week

Apple will reopen more than 25 stores across the U.S. and 12 stores in Canada this week, reports Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman.


The decision follows a published letter on Sunday from the company’s senior VP of retail, Deidre O’Brien, detailing the safety measures that Apple is taking as it gradually re-opens stores across the globe. These include temperature checks conducted at the door, limited occupancy, and a renewed emphasis on one-to-one service. As an alternative to entering some physical stores, customers can also expect to see curb-side pickup and drop off options.

Apple has already opened over 100 stores globally, with many of those stores located in China, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Australia as nationwide lockdowns ease.

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Apple Details Safety Measures When Reopening Apple Retail Stores

Apple Senior Vice President of Retail & People Deidre O’Brien today published a letter regarding Apple’s approach on the reopening of retail stores. O’Brien mentioned that over 100 stores globally have already reopened their doors.


The letter notes that when a store does reopen, face coverings will be required for both Apple employees and customers. Apple will also be providing face coverings to those who do not bring their own.

In addition to face coverings, temperature checks will be taken at store entrances and posted health questions will help in screening one who may have been exposed to COVID-19. O’Brien also mentions that deep cleaning on surfaces, display products, and highly trafficked areas will take place frequently throughout the day.

Customers who do enter Apple’s retail stores will have “plenty of space,” according to O’Brien. Apple will be limiting occupancy in each store, which will help in renewing Apple’s focus on “one‑on‑one, personalized service at the Genius Bar and throughout the store.”

O’Brien also details Apple’s approach to serving its customers more effectively. As an alternative to entering some physical stores, customers can expect to see curb-side pickup and drop off options. As usual, customers can continue to place orders online for an at home delivery. After opening its first US stores last week, Apple will continue to reopen its US stores on a gradual basis.

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Eero Mesh WiFi Products Now Available From Apple’s Online Store

Apple Goes on Cloud Computing Hiring Spree

Apple has hired multiple well-known software engineers with cloud computing expertise in recent months, according to a report from tech site Protocol.
The range of employees Apple has hired has created “a stir” in the “tight-knit cloud community,” and is a sign that Apple is perhaps planning to build serious cloud infrastructure to compete with Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.
Employees…

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Apple Store’s Temperature Checks May Violate EU Privacy Rules, Says German Data Protection Office

Apple has started reopening its retail stores worldwide, and is taking multiple measures to make sure customers and staff continue to stay safe during the global health crisis. One of these measures includes temperature checks for customers before they’re allowed to enter one of Apple’s stores using a non-contact forehead thermometer.


A data protection agency in the German state of Hesse is concerned that Apple’s temperature checks on customers violate European Union privacy rules and has launched a probe, according to Bloomberg Law.

The Hessian data protection agency is working with other German data protection authorities, according to a spokesperson for the Hessian Data Protection Commissioner. There are no results yet from the probe, which is aiming to determine if temperature checks infringe on data protection rules.

Apple began reopening its retail stores in Germany on May 11 with a focus on Genius Bar service and support. Apple is requiring temperature checks, and limiting the number of customers who can be in the store at once to ensure appropriate social distancing.

The 15 stores in Germany are also operating on reduced hours for the time being, with Apple implementing additional measures like ensuring employee/customer interactions take place across tables and adding a relay system to deliver products to prevent employees from moving about the store.

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Apple to Start Reopening U.S. Stores Next Week

Apple will begin reopening its retail stores in the United States next week, reports CNBC, starting with locations in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama, and Alaska.


Apple plans to limit the number of customers in the store at a time, and temperature checks will be performed at the door. Apple also has a number of other measures in place to keep customers and employees safe, as we outlined this morning.

“We’re excited to begin reopening stores in the US next week, starting with some stores in Idaho, South Carolina, Alabama and Alaska. Our team is constantly monitoring local heath data and government guidance, and as soon as we can safely open our stores, we will.”

“Our new social distance protocol allows for a limited number of visitors in the store at one time so there may be a delay for walk-in customers. We recommend, where possible, customers buy online for contactless delivery or in-store pick up.”

Reopened Apple Stores will operate on reduced hours and will primarily focus on repairs, with Apple encouraging customers to purchase online where possible.

Most stores are not listing hours at this time with the exception of Apple Boise Towne Square, which reopens Monday at 11:00 a.m.

During last week’s earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple planned to start reopening some stores in the United States in May. Store reopenings are done on a city by city, county by county basis, with Apple taking into account local data and guidelines.

Apple has already reopened stores in South Korea, Austria, and Australia, with plans to also reopen stores in Germany next week.

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Apple Preparing Retail Employees to Return to Work With Tips From South Korea Reopening

Apple in mid-April reopened Apple Garosugil, its lone store in South Korea, located in the Seoul’s Gangnam District.


Apple’s South Korea reopening has served as a test ground for further store reopenings, and Apple created an instructional video on reopening practices that’s now being shared with other retail employees around the world as they prepare to reopen stores. We’re not able to share the video, but it provides a good overview of the measures Apple is putting in place to safely operate retail locations.

Retail employees are following a strict set of guidelines that very heavily emphasize social distancing of two meters (or six feet in the United States). Apple is taking the following measures:

  • Prior to when work starts, all employees undergo a health screening complete with a temperature check, with the results logged in a daily spreadsheet.
  • Daily briefings are done in the mornings in the Forum area at Apple Stores, with employees making sure to sit at least two meters apart.
  • Prior to being allowed in the store, customers are also given a temperature check.
  • All ‌Apple Stores‌ are providing hand sanitizer, which customers are encouraged to use.
  • Stores are limiting the number of people inside, forming lines with customers waiting at least two meters apart.
  • Products purchased by customers or returned after repair are delivered from the back in a relay system, being handed off from employee to employee to allow each person to stay in a separated zone without back and forth.
  • Product specialists and Genius Bar staff are positioning themselves across tables away from customers in order to maintain distance.
  • In the forum area, employees sit one cube away from customers they’re interacting with.
  • Employees are encouraged to communicate with one another through the Talk app to cut down on unnecessary movement within the store.
  • Half of the workstations in the back are empty, with employees working at alternating workstations to keep more distance between them.
  • Tables have been rearranged to put products on corners to prevent customers from being near one another.
  • Products on tables have been reduced.
  • Communal tables and couches have been removed from employee break rooms and have been replaced with individual chairs evenly spaced about the room.
  • Operating hours are reduced.
  • Employees are all wearing face masks.

After opening its South Korea store on April 16, Apple has reopened its sole store in Vienna, Austria, and 21 stores located in Australia. Stores in Germany will begin reopening on May 11, and all of the newly opened locations are following many of the same guidelines listed above to keep both customers and employees safe.

There’s no word yet on when Apple retail stores in the United States will start to reopen, but Apple CEO Tim Cook last week said that stores in North America will begin reopening starting in the month of May.

Apple plans to evaluate data and make reopening decisions on a city by city, county by county basis, following local guidelines and recommendations before opening up a store.

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Apple to Reopen 21 Retail Stores in Australia This Week

Apple will reopen 21 of its 22 retail locations in Australia on Thursday, May 7, according to Apple’s dedicated websites for each of the stores. All of the stores that are reopening will operate on limited hours for the time being.


Apple’s sole Australian store that will remain closed is its location in Sydney. As noted by 9to5Mac, this store closed in January for major renovations, and it is possible that the global health crisis caused a construction delay.

All of Apple’s retail stores in Australia and elsewhere in the world have been closed since March 14, with the exception of stores in Greater China and a single store in South Korea that reopened in April.

Apple CEO Tim Cook last week said that Apple was going to reopen stores in Austria and Australia this week, and Apple’s sole Apple Store in Vienna will be reopening on Tuesday, May 5.

There is still no word on when stores in North America will reopen, but Cook also said that Apple is planning to reopen a few stores in the U.S. starting in May. Store openings will be staggered, with Apple evaluating data that includes local guidelines and recommendations before reopening.

Apple plans to reopen stores on a city by city, county by county basis, and will implement social distancing measures. In South Korea, where one store has been open since mid-April, Apple has been focusing on device repairs and order pickups rather than standard shopping and browsing, and the same protocols are likely to be followed in Austria and Australia.

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Apple Now Selling DJI’s New Mavic Air 2 Drone in Online Store

DJI in late April debuted the Mavic Air 2, a foldable drone that includes upgraded flight modes, longer battery life, a larger camera sensor, 4K video recording and 8K Hyperlapse video capabilities.


As of today, Apple is selling the Mavic Air 2 in its online store, offering the drone on a standalone basis ($799.95) and in a combo package ($989.95) that also includes a carrying case, two extra batteries, a charging hub, and extra propellers.

The Mavic Air 2 is DJI’s first Mavic drone able to capture 4K video at 60fps and 120Mb/s, supporting HDR video, 4x to 8x slow motion video, and 48-megapixel image capture.

It features a 3-axis gimbal, and its new motors, electronic speed controllers, refreshed aerodynamic design, and updated safety features make it easier to fly and increase flight time to up to 34 minutes. The drone can be used with either an iPhone or an Android smartphone, and it offers a long list of notable features, as outlined by DJI:

  • HDR photos: Mavic Air 2 automatically captures seven varying exposures of the same photograph, merging them together to bring out a highly dynamic image.
  • Hyperlight: Hyperlight is designed for low-light scenarios, taking multiple photographs and merging them to bring out a clear image with less of the noise which usually occurs in low-light scenes.
  • Scene Recognition: Mavic Air 2 can recognize five categories of scenes including sunsets, blue skies, grass, snow, and trees, then optimize settings to make the photograph pop by bringing out the highest degree of color, detail, and tones.
  • ActiveTrack 3.0: Select a subject for Mavic Air 2 to automatically follow. The third iteration of ActiveTrack uses state-of-the-art mapping technology and new flight path algorithms to offer improved subject tracking and obstacle avoidance, along with the ability to quickly re-engage the subject if it temporarily moves behind an object.
  • Point of Interest 3.0: Set an automated flight path around a specific subject. The updated iteration improves surface recognition to better dynamically track subjects.
  • Spotlight 2.0: Found in professional DJI drones, Spotlight locks a subject in the frame while the user has free operation of the drone’s movement.

The Mavic Air 2 can be purchased from Apple as of today and will arrive on May 12th at the earliest. DJI is also accepting orders on its own site for the same bundles.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with DJI. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

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Apple Expecting to Reopen ‘Many More’ Stores in May

Deidre O’Brien, Apple’s vice president of retail and people, today told Apple employees that “many more” Apple Stores are set to start reopening in May.


O’Brien made the comments during a weekly video update shared with staff, according to Bloomberg. “We are continuing to analyze this health situation in every location, and I do expect we will reopen up many more stores in May,” O’Brien told staff. Apple did not specify which stores would be reopened, or the regions where the stores would reopen first.

In March, Apple’s retail chief Deirdre O’Brien said that Apple planned to begin opening some stores worldwide in the first half of April, and one lone store in South Korea was indeed opened again on April 18 for repairs and purchase pickups. No other stores have reopened at this time, and a separate retail source said told MacRumors that Apple is aiming to open stores in North America by mid-June.

When stores start reopening, Apple will take into account local conditions and recommendations. Some states in the U.S. have already begun relaxing their social distancing guidelines and allowing businesses to reopen, while others have extended shelter-in-place orders.

Texas, Georgia, and Tennessee, for example, are letting stay at home orders expire, while the Bay Area, where Apple is located, has extended its shelter-in-place order through the end of May. Apple will need to follow state restrictions and guidelines as stores begin to reopen.

All ‌Apple Stores‌ outside of Greater China (and the reopened South Korea location) have been closed since March 14. Over the course of the last few weeks, retail employees have been returning to work through training and meetings at home, while others have been handling online and phone support technical requests.

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