Apple just made it known to the world that the US launch of the 3G iPad will happen on the very last day of the month (hey, they did say late-April!) If you’ve been clamoring and waiting for a Wi-Fi + 3G Apple tablet, April 30th is your day, as Apple Stores across the United States will start selling them that day at 5:00 PM. If you pre-ordered your 3G iPad before yesterday, you should expect it to arrive on the 30th as well. If you order it online now, you’ll have to wait until May 7 for it to arrive.
Read More | Apple
Apple has finally removed the curtain scaffolding that was in place to hide the construction of their new Upper West Side Manhattan Apple Store location. Of course, in typical Apple fashion, the unveiling leaves even more mystery to unravel, as the entire face of the new store is covered in a vinyl curtain, along with an “Opening soon” message. Luckily, we shouldn’t have to wait much longer to get a look at the newest store, which many are saying will be the most impressive in the entire Apple Store chain. The Upper West Side Apple Store is located on the northwest corner of Broadway and 67th street, right near Lincoln Center.
We’ve got one more shot of the store, a mockup, of what the store should look like after the curtain is removed.
Read More | CNET
Hey, remember when we told you that Microsoft Stores were on their way, and that we’d see them cropping up starting in June? Well it looks like we just got an image of the first store that is currently under construction. As you can see, it’s in a mall, and has one of those fancy mall covering that tell you that it’s coming soon. In particular, you can see that all the expected Microsoft brands are represented, including Windows, Xbox 360, Bing, Microsoft Office, and Zune.
We’ve gotta admit, we’re a little amped to set foot into one of these retail locations. You?
Read More | Microsoft Twitter Account
We do love ourselves a good battle, and it looks like Microsoft is ready to start putting their dukes up against the super popular Apple retail stores. Not only is Microsoft going to be opening up their own branded retail stores, they are going to put some stories “right next door to Apple stores” this fall. Oh yes, it’s on.
At first glance, you may be wondering what cool, eye-pleasing toys Microsoft would have to even lure people in to their stores. I mean, isn’t almost every consumer electronics store a “Microsoft Store?” Well, it’s all in the approach. We know that the Zune HD will be released this fall. We know that the Xbox 360 will have a nice dashboard update this fall that will bring with it a host of new social features, there’s the Microsoft Surface tabletop, Xbox 360 games, Project Natal, etc. If Microsoft uses some of these popular items as cornerstones for their retail presence, and even allows the chance to get first-looks at some of these things, they may be on to something.
We are ready for the war.
Amazon has launched Amazon Wireless beta, an online storefront where you can purchase voice and data plans from AT&T and Verizon, with T-Mobile and Sprint also coming soon. Normally, we wouldn’t give something like this a second look, but it’s Amazon, and they will be pointing consumers to this wireless portal from within the main Amazon site. The nice thing about Amazon Wireless is that you can compare offerings from the carriers in one easy-to-use spot, rather than visiting 2-4 different sites. Even better, all that mail-in rebate stuff goes out the window if you end up buying your mobile phone and plan on Amazon Wireless - all discounts are instant. Amazon Wireless beta is open now, and currently has over 130 phones up for sale.
Read More | Amazon Wireless
It is officially official: The Palm Pre is launching on June 6th at $199.99 after $100 mail-in rebate and 2-year contract. The Sprint exclusive Pre will be available across the United Stats (yes, US-only for now) in Sprint stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack, and certain Wal-Mart locations. As far as plans are concerned, you can get the Palm Pre with Sprint’s Everything Data plan, or the Business Essentials with Messaging and Data plan. Of course, the Touchstone charging accessory will also be available for $69.99, which includes the $49.99 Touchstone dock and the $19.99 back cover for the Pre that’s required.
So there you have it, you’ll be able to get your Pre on in 20 days.
Read More | Sprint
Cartoonist Norm Feuti must draw with both hands at the same time. He has not one, but two comic strips going simultaneously. One strip, Retail, is syndicated by the granddaddy of all newspaper syndicates, King Features. The other is his own web comic Gill which debuted toward the end of last year. Retail is set in the world of, well, retail – about four employees of the fictitious Grumbel’s department store. It currently appears in about 70 newspapers worldwide. If your local paper isn’t one of them, you can read Retail everyday right here.
Gill is Norm’s second strip. Despite the syndicated success of Retail, Gill didn’t get traction with the syndicates. Norm made the leap to the internets and launched it as his first web comic. Gill is the story of a chubby kid, trapped in a lower income lifestyle, whose parents are divorced. Hijinks, naturally, ensue.
That might be more than enough to keep any cartoonist busy, but in 2007, Hyperion published Norm’s humorous Retail Employee Handbook called Pretending You Care. See what I mean about the drawing with both hands thing?
TOM: You have two regular strips going at the same time. How do you work your busy schedule around being a stay-at-home Dad?
In an attempt to cut their losses, Office Depot’s adopting a familiar strategy; announcing today that they’ll be closing 112 or roughly 9% of their “underperforming” stores, six of their 33 North American distribution facilities and reducing their workforce by 2,200 jobs over the next three months. The plan to close 112 stores will reduce the chain’s brick and mortar stores to 1,163. It plans to close 45 stores in the Central U.S., 40 in the Northeast and Canada, 19 in the West and eight in the South - proof that “Taking Care of Business” is not only a slogan, but a business model…
Read More | Yahoo! Finance
When you purchase something online and see a space for a coupon code, don’t you wonder if there is really one out there? We searched around and found lots of sites to find these codes and printable coupons.
If you like giving restaurant gift cards, Restaurant.com offers $25.00 certificates for only $10.00, with minimal stipulations. We could go on but you could probably find them as easily with a simple search of “coupon code” with the name of the store or manufacturer you are interested in.
All told, about 58 million bargain hunters rose before dawn to check out Black Friday. Welcome to Cyber Monday, another effort to get the moola out of your pocket and into online retailers when shoppers go back to work. Researches say that 61 million will shop online from their cubicles, which is 18 percent higher than last year, to avoid holiday rage.
To guard against online identity theft, watch for mass e-mails complaining there are problems with your order, use a credit rather than debit card, and check for site security (the site should read “https,” with that extra “s” for security.) Finally, if you use sites like Amazon, Shopzilla, BizRate, and NexTag, don’t automatically assume you will obtain a secure and safe purchase.
Read More | ABC