Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) newest product, the Apple Watch will be accessible to millions more Americans with its launch on Best Buy’s website and select stores.
Apple, which launched the Apple Watch in April of this year, has mainly limited its sales of the Watch to Apple stores and its official website due to early manufacturing problems. These problems led to a slowed initial production and negatively impacted the ability to deliver the products to stores around the world.
In order to honor customer purchases while also dealing with these technical difficulties, Apple limited Watch orders to those made online and only placed the product on Apple Store shelves in mid-June.
With many of these manufacturing problems now solved, Apple hopes to enter more retail stores such as Best Buy in order to broaden its consumer base and improve Watch sales. While at first there was a lot of positive hysteria surrounding Apple Watch’s launch, the product’s sales have plateaued with some analysts questioning the durability of the Watch in the market.
However, Apple CEO Tim Cook disputed those concerns about the Apple Watch following the release of the company’s third fiscal quarter of 2015 earnings. Cook denied reports of “collapsing” Watch sales saying post-launch shipments have held steady and actually peaked in June. Cook emphasized that Apple is “convinced that the Watch is going to be one of the top gifts of the holiday season.”
As the summer nears its close and companies start considering how to market their products for the holiday season, having the Apple Watch in retail stores like Best Buy will be essential to increase sales. Apple hopes to place the Apple Watch in over 300 outlets before the holiday season begins to reach a much greater pool of consumers.
Chinese Factory Producing Forged iPhone shut Down by Police
Chinese authorities have shut down a factory in Beijing that reportedly built more than 41,000 fake iPhones valued at as much as 120 million yuan or $19 million.
The police raided the facility and arrested several individuals involved in the scam. The crackdown marks a stark change in Chinese policy, where intellectual property theft had previously been viewed as a more minor crime and had not been as actively pursued by the police.
Reportedly, the factory was run by a husband and wife with six assembly lines and hundreds of workers manning the machines.
The facility was collecting second hand smartphones, taking apart the pieces, repackaging them, and then selling them to distributors as iPhones. While this is not the first case of iPhone counterfeiting, and in fact there was another operation in China which was broken up in 2011, this incident marked the biggest crackdown on iPhone forgeries in China.
The Chinese were tipped off about this case when several of these fake iPhones landed up in the possession of U.S. authorities.
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