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80 Million Dollars Worth of iPhones Smuggled via Drones To China

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A smuggling ring has been using DJI drones to enable the transport of refurbished iPhones into Shenzhen, China. According to customs officials in the city, those responsible were caught after flying 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of smartphones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen.

Chinese authorities have arrested 26 people who were part of an iPhone smuggling operation between Hong Kong and the mainland city of Shenzhen. The criminals used aerial drones to connect two 660-foot cables between two high-rise buildings, and then passed as many as 15,000 iPhones per night across the border.

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Toddler In China ‘Disables/Locks iPhone For 47 Years

 A mother in China is furious after her toddler managed to lock her iPhone for 47 years. The two-year-old boy in Shanghai disabled his mother’s iPhone for the equivalent of 47 years after playing with it and repeatedly entering the wrong passcode, according to a Chinese media report. The phone was given to the child to watch educational videos online. The mother returned home one day and when she checked the phone found it had been disabled for 25 million minutes, equivalent to 47 years. 

Apple store technician in Shanghai was quoted as saying that the woman could either wait years to try to input her passcode again or wipe the contents of the handset clean and then reinstall files. The woman decided to erase all the phone data and do a factory reset. The woman has been waiting for two months and the problem has not been rectified.

The report sparked a debate online in China. Some parents said the mother should never have allowed her child to play with the phone alone. Others said she should have backed up the data stored on her phone elsewhere so that if something went wrong she could easily retrieve it.

 

Higher Priced Smartphones Mean Lower Purchases

This year and last, Samsung, Apple, and, recently, Google set the bar higher for smartphones pushing their price bar higher than ever before. It was somewhat necessary to recoup the costs of R&D, production, marketing, and the like. It also helped inflate the smartphones’ status as premium products to die for. It appears that they may be digging their own graves in the long run.

High-end components, of course, are more expensive than more common ones, but the rate of price increase doesn’t seem proportional to the build costs. The gap seems to grow even more for each new generation of smartphones.

Business considerations aside, this rise in prices has a double-edged effect on consumers. On the one hand, they paint the picture of a product that only a few can afford, which has the ironic effect of making it even more desirable. Apple has been doing it for years.

On the other hand, it is actually and factually something very few people can afford. That ultimately meant that fewer people actually bought the new phones, which may have contributed to last month’s decline in smartphone shipments last quarter, when the most expensive non-luxury phones shipped for the first time. 

The lower sales numbers become an even bigger problem in the context of the current practice of releasing flagship smartphones every year. Some, like Samsung, even release twice a year. Others release multiple ones at the same time or spread them over the months. Long story short, there are dozens of new phones every year.

The smartphone market is changing and so is user habits. Smartphone vendors aren’t, although some, like LG and HTC, may have noticed, even though they already had lower prices. Samsung may have seen clues, but it isn’t one to change directions so quickly. Apple is one that’s unlikely to change at all. High-end smartphones are becoming luxury items that very few can afford. And whatever few can afford, very few will buy. And that may spell trouble for the companies that rely on them to survive.

Best Buy Getting ahead By Boosting Customer Satisfaction, & Employee Investment

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Two executives from Best Buy described the work they’ve done over the last three and a half years rethinking employee training by investing in support for customer and product interaction — as opposed to clunky, corporate technology — by using dedicated resources from a retail user experience and a change management perspective.

They believe it’s super important for their employees to feel like they have a place in the future of where we’re going.” These efforts have helped drop employee turnover by “well into the double digits. 

Employee turnover is still problematic. The average turnover rate is north of 60%, according to the National Retail Federation, and retailers collectively lose over 230 million productive days and $19 billion in new staff costs as a result.

 Last year, newfound investment in employee training became a priority for the National Retail Federation as well as 21 major retailers like Walmart, Target and Macy’s, which together launched the RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) program.

Although Best Buy is not a part of the program, the retailer has spent the last few years tackling the problem by conducting “hundreds and hundreds” of one-on-one interviews with employees across the country to ask about usability problems when it comes to applications and technology, and other pain points of the job.

“Through redesigning systems and bringing new technology into the stores they were able to cut their POS transaction time in half. This allows their associates to spend less time typing on keyboards or holding tablets and reinvest that time to connect with the customer experiences so they don’t end up cutting labor or anything similar. 

Substitute Phones For Restless Fingers & Cell Phone Addiction

 Klemens Schillinger’s Substitute Phones are made of high-quality, heavy-duty plastic designed to mimic the look and feel of a traditional smartphone. The devices feature stone beads which are designed to simulate the various gestures one would make on their smartphone. They’re like phone-shaped fidget spinners. The same tactile urge to touch and swipe like your actual smartphone does, is fulfilled, but will give you a break from the constant text messages and notifications.The calming limitation can also offer help for smartphone addicts to cope with withdrawal symptoms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gang On Mopheads Raid Apple Store

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A gang of thieves robbed an Apple Store in central London during the early hours of Monday morning, November 13. The gang helped themselves to the company’s latest smartphones, as well as anything else they could lay their hands on.

A security guard was reportedly threatened with a hammer as 10 thieves on five mopeds smashed their way into the store on Regent Street just after midnight.

An eyewitness told the BBC the suspects appeared to have difficulties smashing the store’s locked glass doors but then took just three minutes to grab the goods before fleeing on the mopeds, though one was abandoned at the scene.

Cops said mostly iPhones, iPads, and smartwatches were stolen in the heist, though it’s not yet clear how much the haul was worth. No arrests have been made.

 Just a few weeks ago we heard about how hundreds of brand new iPhone X handsets were grabbed from a UPS truck in San Francisco, while in 2016, again in San Francisco, thieves hid under hoodies and strolled into an Apple Store during opening hours to grab handsets straight off the display tables. The New York Apple Store was robbed with thieves making off with more than 60 iPhones.

 

Steve Jobs Theater & Apple Park

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