Sony Style is a thing of the past. On April 1 Sony opened to the public the very first, totally redesigned Sony retail experience in Los Angeles and they’re calling–drumroll, please–the Sony Store. The press release details the new design quite nicely:
The new store was designed in collaboration with Klein Dytham architecture (KDa). It features a bright, open, inviting space, with products displayed on tables so that consumers can personally interact and engage with them like they would in a home environment. The layout of the store is flexible, with movable interior walls and changeable color schemes so that it can be adapted and reconfigured to highlight specific products, services, or content to engage and delight customers with fresh experiences each time they return.
The wide open store packs some really cool electronics, all made by Sony of course. Inside you’ll be able to interact with 3DTVs, 3D-capable Vaio laptops, PS3 games (with Move), digital cameras, Google TV, and so on and so forth. You’ll also spot the RayModeler, “a futuristic 360-degree display prototype that projects a 3D image that can be seen from all angles.” In the music section you can test out the Walkman and compare sound with Sony’s catalog of headphones; customers are allowed to test out the headphones on the Walkmans and their personal MP3 players. The TV section is walled with the latest and greatest Sony HDTVs and what’s neat is that every set’s price and specs are digitally labeled in the right-hand corner of each screen. And then there’s The Cube, a personal home theater dumped in the middle of the store.
The new Sony Store sounds like tech heaven, doesn’t it? Watch the video above to get a feel for the new design, and if you live in LA you can experience it first-hand by visiting the first rebranded store which is located at the Westfield Century City mall. In time all Sony Style retail locations will switch over to the new moniker, and the company plans on unleashing these new retail experiences nationwide and internationally after gaining customer feedback from the LA launch. Official PR after the break.
So the iPad is coming out today. THE iPAD IS COMING OUT TODAY! OK, calm down. If you want one that badly, here’s what you need to know.
Where/when to buy it: (1) The iPad is available to purchase at all Apple Stores around the nation. On launch day, Apple employees will cater to customers who preordered it first at 9AM, then start selling it to everyone else at 10AM. Lines started forming a whole 24 hours before store opening. But don’t worry; it’s been reported that most lines are not as deep as those found on iPhone launch day. (2) The iPad will also be available to purchase at Besy Buy. Word has it that the device will only be sold at Best Buys that contain the mini-Apple kiosks within them; fortunately that includes around 675 stores around the nation. Stores will likely hand out tickets (redeemable until 3PM) at 9AM. Your best bet is to go to an Apple Store first and save Best Buy as a backup plan. The Apple Store will definitely receive more iPad units, and it’s been reported that Best Buy is only receiving 15 units of each model. If queues begin, your chances of getting one are slim. So, Apple Store first, then Best Buy. (Apple Specialist Stores will also be getting in some iPads. If you know if your local mall has one of these, call them up and inquire; it’s worth a shot.)
Don’t feel like going out tomorrow?: Well, that’s fine. There is one other way to snag an iPad early in the game. Head over to the Apple store online and order one. The initial shipments have sold out, so if you order one today the expected ship date is April 12. (Note that Best Buy does not offer the iPad online.)
And that’s about it. If you’re going out to get one, good luck and have a magical day! While you’re waiting, check out the full catelog of iPad apps, now available to view in iTunes! I’ll be posting some of my favorites next week.
Japanese clothing company A Bathing Ape (Bape for short) is continuing its retail expansion with this latest opening in Singapore. While there happens to be 18 Bape stores in its home country of Japan, Bape clothes and footwear are still very limited throughout much of the world. The US only has two locations (in LA and NYC) and other stores can be found in Paris, London, Hong Kong, and Tapei. Be sure to check out the images from opening night at the Singapore Bape store. Also, don’t forget that there is finally a US version of the Bape website where you can browse and purchase the latest seasonal clothes and sneakers.
This is so shameful. Watch as these colorful Mission Viejo Microsoft Store employees try and act out a clearly routinized dance to “I’ve Got a Feeling.” Ah, it’s not like an Apple Store would try something like this. What..they wouldn’t!
On November 14 the glass doors will open to a brand new Apple Store located in the Upper West Side. It will be the fourth (and largest) Apple Store placed in New York City.
During today’s official announcements, Apple made it clear that “customers can now reserve their favorite Apple product” online and pick it up in-store between December 15-24. Also, for the first time ever Apple Store employees will giftwrap ”any iPod or portable Mac for just $5.”
Oh, and for all you Apple fanboys and collectors listen up: “The Apple Store Upper West Side is located at 1981 Broadway, on the corner of West 67th Street. The first 2,500 visitors to the store will receive a limited edition, commemorative t-shirt.” Doors open at 10AM; what are you waiting for?
Be sure to check out some shots of the gorgeous Apple Store in the gallery below, courtesy of Gizmodo.
The day has finally come. Windows 7, Microsoft’s next major operating system, is out today. Will it turn out to be the “Vista fix” and live up to its positive initial reviews? Only time will tell.
Alongside the release there has been a handful of Windows-related news to peruse. First there’s a slew of new Windows commercials featuring a new tagline; “I’m a PC, and Windows 7 was my idea.” Heck, it works. Check out one commercial here, and look after the break for two others.
Next up is the grand opening of the Microsoft Store. The first MS retail store opened in Scottsdale, AZ today, exciting hundreds of Windows fanboys (and girls) who camped outside the mall overnight. The first four people on-line received free Zune HDs and other early customers received some other freebies. From some YouTube video footage and in-store images the Microsoft Store looks very much like an Apple Store, except with more vibrant colors and, obviously, Windows-related products such as Surface tables and Xbox 360s. The video below is the fascinating countdown of the store’s morning launch; the countdown starts (so appropriately and to the glee of the rabid fans) at 7. For a glimpse at the inside of the store, look after the break for a video featuring the welcoming colorful staff and see the gallery below for some stills. [Also noteworthy is that the online Microsoft Store is up and running, too. It offers MS and third party products and services to purchase online.]
Two more less significant but equally relevant newsbits. Today in Paris a “Microsoft Cafe” opened its doors to the public. Besides it being the onlyofficial Windows-themed cafe in the world, there isn’t much else to say about it. It offers free WiFi service to its customers and there are a myriad of Windows products for customers to play with as they sip their coffee and eat their pastries. See the gallery below for some stills of the Windows Cafe.
This last bit of news is quite freaky, actually. In Japan, Burger King introduced the “Windows 7 Whopper,” a 5-inch tall beast of a burger that packs (you guessed it) seven patties. Customers are forced to pay a premium for this…unique treat (777 yen/$8.53).
Oh, one more thing. Remember that over-the-top awesomely awkward “How to throw a Windows 7 party” ad Microsoft made some time ago? Well the good patrons at Funny or Die have created the ultimate parody of it. Check it out in the video below.
And that’s a wrap. Now that Windows 7 is out…what are you waiting for?! If you are a Vista user or looking to purchase a new PC, upgrading/adopting is a no-brainer. If you are still using XP, hesitance is natural (thanks, Vista) but you should definitely consider jumping into the next generation OS. If you’re that skeptical about it, it doesn’t hurt to wait for Service Pack 1. If you’re a Mac user–I’ll just shut up. Windows 7 is finally here. PARTAY…or don’t.
The first ever Microsoft Store will open this Thursday in Scottdale, Arizona. MS tells customers to “Be entertained,” “Be excited,” and “Be early.” There will be free give-aways and a live performance from who else by “pop superstar” Ashley Tisdale. According to Engadget, the Store will look a little some like this (see the gallery below) and will feature a genius support bar.
Yesterday the Apple Store in Marlton, NJ was robbed by five well-organized theives. They stole 23 MacBook Pros, 14 iPhones, and 9 iPod touches (or is it iPods touch?). They bashed through the glass doors and stole all of the merchandise in 31 seconds! Fastest burglars I have ever seen. Check out the security cam that captured it all in the news report above.
The Nature Factory was created by Makoto Tanijir. The pipes concept was implemented inside the Diesel Denim Gallery in Tokyo, Japan. Check out more images of this interesting architectural marvel in the gallery below.
YouTube user nicholifavs is a typical kid who makes webcam videos of himself lip-synching his favorite songs. What makes him worthy of notice is the way he makes the videos. He shoots and uploads all of his videos from the NYC 5th Ave. Apple Store! He doesn’t care about the onlookers behind him, and it seems like the Apple Store employees don’t have a problem with it. Check out his rendition of Boom Boom Pow above, and see his YouTube page for more. Very original, man. Keep it coming.
You’ll start seeing this logo in malls all across the country in no time. It is the official logo for Microsoft’s retail store. According to the patent filing, the logo represents “retail store services and online retail services featuring computers, computer hardware, software, computer games, computer peripherals, portable music players and accessories, personal digital assistants, cell phones and accessories, video game consoles and accessories, webcams, books, clothing, back packs, messenger bags, computer bags and novelty items”.
[Via PC World]
On Friday, Microsoft twittered the following tweet (and attached the above image as a twitpic): “Behind these walls in Scottsdale & Mission Viejo, the first Microsoft retail stores.” I wonder if they will be anything like the leaked documents that were uncovered.
And that’s wack! The rumors are true, people. Radio Shack is officially undergoing a branding make-over to become The Shack. “Hey bro, I’m heading to The Shack.” I know, it sounds like the name of a whore house, right? Anyway, the change is happening during a massive celebration taking place in New York and San Fransisco at the same time. The “Shack Summer Netogether” runs from August 6th-8th and will feature two 17-foot laptops that will be live streaming from each other across the country. I’ll be damned if this rebranding actually helps the sinking ship that is Radio Shack. With Best Buy eating away at the competition (RIP Comp USA), The Shack has little chance at surviving this game for much longer.
On the heels of the recent Microsoft retail store news comes this relevent Penny Arcade comic.
[Via Penny Arcade]
If you are not aware, Microsoft is planning to open its own retail stores, just like Apple has with their “Apple Store” nationwide. Gizmodo recently picked up on leaked MS retail store plans that were included in what seems to be a legit powerpoint presentation by Lippicott, a “design and brand strategy” consultant firm. From the looks of the images and details, a ‘Microsoft Store’ may give Apple a run for its money. Back on July 15, this quote was picked up by Giz; Microsoft’s COO Kevin Turner: ”And stay tuned, because we’re going to have some retail stores opened up that are opened up right next door to Apple stores this fall. Stay tuned, just stay tuned.” Late last week, Giz found further information about MS’s plans about a retail chain. “Essentially, Microsoft is taking the best elements from the Apple Store, Sony Style and other “flagship” stores. The main focuses are going to be Windows 7, Xbox, PCTV (Windows Media Center) Surface and Windows Mobile, revolving around this concept customer they call “Emily…” One Frank Shaw left a comment on MS’s behalf, firmly stating that these plans are only concepts, and nothing more: “As a part of our process in briefing creative agencies, we shared some early prototypes and concepts of our retail store plans. No final decisions have been made. As we previously announced, we are on track to open retail stores this Fall.” According to CNET, the first two locations of these stores will be in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mission Viejo, California. Microsoft spokeswoman Kim Stocks: “Over a billion people use our products every day yet we don’t always have a way to directly connect with them. We see the physical stores, as well as a consistent online experience, helping that.” With the goal of “going global” MS will directly compete with Apple Retail stores in the near future. There’s even a rumored “answers bar” in the works to go head-to-head with Apple’s Genius Bar. Look after the break for Giz’s summary of the leaked powerpoint presentation and see the gallery below for the leaked in-store plans.