Buh bye, Best Buy cell phone stores, margins were good while they lasted

Best Buy is gearing up to shutter all of its dedicated cell phone stores that it has dispersed in malls around the country way before the first iPhone was even introduced. The reason? Well, they now cost more to operate than the big-box Best Buy store, and the profit margins on smartphones aren’t that great anymore either. For the middle man, that is, not their manufacturers, which have been raising prices to offset a demand decline, which in turn offsets the demand even more, but we digress. 

The sales from the 250 or so dedicated phone shops that Best Buy has around the …

Tesla is coming to 800 Home Depot stores


Tesla is going mainstream. No, not the electric cars. 

Elon Musk is bringing his solar panels and Powerwall batteries to 800 Home Depot locations in the U.S., Bloomberg reported this week. That’s a big boost for the venture, previously known as SolarCity. The products, also available for sale on Tesla’s website, will now be exposed to more customers’ eyes.

The dedicated spaces inside Home Depot stores will be Tesla-branded and be staffed by Tesla employees. In some retail locations, the large installations will include a visual demonstration of how the devices work. According to Bloomberg’s report, the new areas will arrive the first half of the year.  Read more…

More about Tesla, Elon Musk, Powerwall, Flamethrower, and Solarcity

Apple iPhone batteries catch on fire yesterday and today at two different Apple Stores

For the second time in two days, an Apple iPhone battery exploded inside an Apple Store. Today, a room in the Apple Store in Valencia, Spain was filled with smoke after a battery inside an iPhone unit being repaired caught on fire. Workers at the store smothered the flames and opened the window to let out the smoke. While three firefighters and police arrived at the scene, their presence was not needed. There were no injuries as a result of the blast, which took place at 1:30pm local time.

On Tuesday, an Apple Store employee in Zurich, Switzerland received minor burns when a battery …

Google is thinking about opening stores in India to sell the Pixel 2, Google Home and more

India is the second largest smartphone market in the world. Despite a per capita income that is considered to be very low, Google has been encouraged by the strong response to the Pixel 2 handsets at pop-up stores that the company put up in the country. These temporary stores allowed Google to show off the Pixel 2 and allowed the company to answer any questions from Indian consumers related to the phone.

Two top tier malls in India say that they have received requests to open Google stores in their locations. One executive whose mall hosted one of the pop-ups, says that Google has learned …

FreedomPop moves into 1,100 Target stores with Android phones as low as $59

Hybrid MVNO FreedomPop is moving into 1,100 Target stores nationwide. SIM cards cost $5 and Android phones are as low as $59. FreedomPop offers a free service that includes 500MB of data, 200 voice minutes and 500 texts per month. Customers are connected to Wi-Fi hotspots until they are out of range. When that occurs, the handsets are connected to an LTE network belonging to a major U.S. carrier like AT&T.

During August, FreedomPop instituted a new annual plan for $49 that includes 1,000 minutes of voice, 1,000 texts and 1 GB of data a month. There are also plans that combine the purchase …

You can buy iPhone X in stores starting at 8:00am local time today

Starting today, at 8:00am local time, you will be able to buy the Apple iPhone X in stores.
Apple has promised to have a certain number of iPhone X available on day 1 at physical stores, but this number will likely be very limited, so if you want to get yours today, you would likely need to stand in line before the stores are open.
Sales have already kicked off in Japan and other Asian countries that use different time zones, and Apple has already shared photos of the huge lines in front of Apple Stores there, as well …

iPhone X will arrive in Apple Stores early in the morning on November 3

Apple just announced that the iPhone X – its most advanced
smartphone to date – will be available in Apple Stores starting Friday,
November 3, at 8:00 a.m. local time. Of course, we already knew that the
handset would be released on November 3, but now we have an exact hour for the


Apple says the iPhone X, aka iPhone 10, will be in stock at its stores for walk-in customers, who have the chance to buy the handset right away on launch day. Nevertheless, there will likely be stock shortages, so Apple encourages fans to show
up early. Besides launching in the US, the iPhone X will …

Google: we'll reimburse those who got the overpriced Pixel 2/XL at our pop-up stores

Along with the Pixel 2 and 2 XL announcement, Google said that it will set pop up stores in high-visibility and high-traffic areas as Manhattan to showcase and sell the new gear. Apple has its Town Squares Stores, Samsung has its Experience pop-ups in Best Buy, and Microsoft used to set temporary exhibits when it was high on Lumia, too.

Needless to say, Google delivered on that promise, and had the Manhattan store up and running yesterday for the official Pixel 2 launch date. Shop patrons, however, quickly noticed that the prices of the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are …

Apple's retail chief says Apple Stores won't upsell the iPhone X to customers

Imagine this scenario. You walk into the Apple Store near you sometime in 2018 and the location has a number of Apple iPhone X units running on one of the tables. But you walk right past the premium tenth anniversary model and pick up the Apple iPhone 8 because that is the model you want. And just as you are ready to pay for the device, a member of the Apple Store team starts to upsell you on the iPhone X. It has an OLED screen, a larger battery, and of course it features Face ID. And that edge-to-edge display is gorgeous. Before you know it, your $699 purchase has turned into a budget busting …

Google's pop-up stores in New York and L.A. to offer devices for sale including the new Pixel models

Google doesn’t have a chain of permanent retail stores like Apple has where consumers can test out and purchase the latest Apple devices. Instead, Google relies on pop-up stores where visitors can test products before ordering them online. But that is going to change. According to a report published today, Google will start selling devices from its temporary stores in New York and Los Angeles when they both open for business this Thursday.

Devices that will be available for purchase at Google’s pop-up stores include the new Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL and the Google Home Mini. Other new products …