AWT News Update: June 22, 2017

Photo via  DNAinfo /David Matthews

Photo via DNAinfo/David Matthews

In today's news, a few tidbits of info about Apple buildings that are nearing completion, and Apple and Foxconn lose out on their bid for Toshiba's flash memory business:

  • The new Chicago River Apple Store being built in the Windy City has a roof that looks like a MacBook Air and temporarily sported an Apple logo
  • Apple is hiring for the new Visitor Center Caffe near Apple Park
  • Bain Capital and a consortium of Japanese government investors snap up the Toshiba flash memory biz in an $18 billion deal

The text version of the podcast can be viewed below. To listen to the podcast here, click the play button on the player below. Apple News readers need to visit Apple World Today in order to listen to the podcast.

Text Version

This is Steve Sande for Apple World Today, and you’re listening to the AWT News Update for June 22nd, 2017.

Apple’s flagship stores are quite different from the usual run of the mill store, with architectural design that is decidedly different. The new flagship Chicago River Apple Store in the Windy City is really coming along now, and with a new roof installed it reveals that the glass structure has what appears to be a giant MacBook Air as a roof. The metallic roof, which could be made of Sir Jony Ive’s beloved “aluminium”, actually had a giant Apple logo in the center of it for a while that really adds to the illusion. While that logo wouldn’t be visible from street level, it would certainly be viewable from any of the skyscrapers in the city. As someone on Twitter pointed out, the white Apple logo that was used is a bit outdated, as the new MacBook Pros use a silver, non-glowing logo. At least they got the non-glowing part correct… Anyway, the logo may not be a permanent part of the structure, as DNAinfo reported that crews rolled up the logo and took it away after being on the roof for less than an hour. Personally, I hope they were just taking photos to show Apple executives how cool it looks from the air and that the logo becomes a permanent fixture.

Another Apple structure is nearing completion. Apple Park’s visitor center is currently hiring a supervisor and manager at the Visitor Center Caffe, a building that will be located at 10700 North Tantau Avenue away from the main campus. Caffe Macs are scattered around Apple facilities in Cupertino and are only open to Apple employees, but the new Visitor Center restaurant will take anyone as customers. The Visitor Center is expected to also have a new Apple Store as part of the structure, covering well over 10,000 square feet. If anyone from Apple is listening to this podcast, the Apple World Today staff would love to be invited to any grand opening ceremonies you may have for Apple Park.

You may recall that a few months ago, Toshiba put its NAND flash memory business on the bidding block, and a number of companies — including Apple and Foxconn in a joint bid — competed to see who would end up with the memory chip business. Sadly, it wasn’t Apple. Instead, Toshiba went with a consortium consisting of US-based Bain Capital and a number of Japanese government investors. It’s apparent that Toshiba wanted to keep the business under Japanese control, as the winning bid of 2 trillion yen (or about $18 billion) was below other bidders. The deal will be finalized next week, and is already under fire. Professor Atsushi Osanai of Waseda University Business School pointed out that there are “many parties involved in this consortium. It has undergone so many twists and turns during its formation process, that I’m skeptical about whether it can promptly make bold decisions. In that sense, Broadcom or Foxconn would be better suited.”

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