AWT News Update: October 21, 2016

It's Friday! Before you head to your favorite local watering hole or restaurant for some Friday Afternoon Club libations or a nice meal, get up to speed on the latest in Apple News:

  • The latest in a series of Apple Store heists happens in a mall in Natick, Massachusetts
  • Apple's pop-up Watch Edition store in the swanky Galeries Lafayette in Paris will close in January
  • Germany appears poised to be the latest country to get Apple Pay

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below.

Text Version

Hi, this is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and this is the AWT News Update for October 21, 2016. This week’s podcasts are sponsored by Spidercase, a rugged protective case for your iPhone that won’t cost a bundle. Check out the link in the show notes for more information.

iPhones are incredibly popular with the general public, and also with thieves. A group of seven young men and women made a daylight ripoff of 19 iPhones from a busy Apple retail outlet in a Natick, Massachusetts mall earlier this week. The iPhones, which had a value of about $13,000, were tethered to display tables. The gang was all wearing hoodies, entered the mall and headed straight for the Apple store. Once inside the store, the group yanked the iPhones from security tethers and ran out. Altogether, the brazen ripoff took less than a minute. It’s believed that the same group made a similar theft last week in Hingham, MA, which is about an hour’s drive away. Apple is doing away with the tethers at most Apple Stores, now moving to a special software load that renders devices unusable if they’re removed from an Apple Store.

The $10,000 to $17,000 gold Apple Watch Edition was never a big hit, since replaced with the high end ceramic body Series 2 Edition that retails for about $1,300. Back when the Watch first appeared on the scene, Apple opened a special pop-up shop in the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, France to sell the high end Watch. That location will be closed in January of 2017, with employees being given jobs at other Apple retail locations around Paris including a new store in Saint Germain that’s expected to open by the end of 2016. Apple’s now focusing the Watch on what it does well — health and fitness — and reducing the emphasis on fashion and luxury, so it’s very possible that other pop-up shops that catered to the gold Watch Edition will close as well. Those locations include Selfridges in London, England and Isetan in Tokyo, Japan.

Another major European country appears to be poised to get Apple Pay soon. Apple accidentally highlighted Germany in a global coverage map published online on October 10, which was deleted a week later and replaced with a map that does not show Germany as an Apple Pay country. Searches for the phrase “Apple Pay” on the German Apple website bring up multiple Apple Pay-related listings, including one to apple.com/de/apple-pay — a page that doesn’t yet exist. Apple often reveals new major Apple Pay releases at company events, so Germany may be officially announced at the upcoming October 27th press event. If so, Germany will join France, Switzerland, and the UK as the only Apple Pay countries in Europe at this time. Apple has previously announced that Spain will be added to the list by the end of 2016

That’s all for today; We’ll be back Monday afternoon with another edition of the AWT News Update.