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Adding mobile hits takes Apple’s website into top 10

Apple, ranked last year as the world's 11th most popular website, has now climbed to the No. 8 slot after web analytics company ComScore rather belatedly started measuring mobile as well as desktop access.


The average top 100 website sees a 38 percent audience gain when mobile is included, but Apple has the largest gain in the top 10 list after adding 54 percent to its numbers.

First Volume of Manga Adaptation of Steve Jobs' Biography Launches in Japan

The Verge reports that the first volume of Mari Yamazaki's manga adaption of Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography has launched in Japan, appearing in the May issue of the girl-focused Kiss anthology.
The first thing you'll notice in these opening pages is that Yamazaki has pulled off the artwork beautifully; far from the spiky-haired caricatures that may come to mind when you think of manga, Jobs has been brought to life in a semi-realistic monochrome style that is never off-putting, but stays in the Japanese manga tradition.
The Verge summarizes this first volume as including fifteen pages of Steve Jobs trying to convince Walter Isaacson to write his biography before jumping into Jobs' childhood and moving through to his college years.
Once Jobs is of college age, Yamazaki swiftly transforms him into the type of character any schoolgirl reader could fall in love with. In one memorable two-page spread, Jobs goes from accepting a bribe of $5 and candy from his influential teacher Imogene Hill, to replying "Sure!" when encouraged to try LSD by a long-haired peer in college corridors.
The first volume ends as Jobs meets Steve Wozniak for the first time, setting the stage for their partnership and the formation of Apple.

Yahoo has also posted a preview of the first volume showing Jobs and Isaacson discussing the possibility of a Steve Jobs biography.

Apple Launches U.S. iPhone Promotion Offering Free Next Day Shipping On All Models

Apple today launched a new promotion for U.S. customers, providing free next day shipping on all of its iPhone models. While Apple typically provides free shipping for all orders over $50, the promotion also includes the iPhone 4, which is free with a two year contract.

The shipping promotion comes shortly after Apple released a new "Why You'll Love an iPhone" advertising campaign via email and the web and a secondary email advertisement that highlighted Apple's 9th consecutive J.D. Power Smartphone Satisfaction Rankings win. Apple's advertising push follows the introduction of Samsung's Galaxy S 4 phone.

Potential customers are limited to purchasing two iPhones with the newly released shipping offer, which is available immediately. Though no specific holiday is associated with the promotion, it does come a week before the Easter holiday.

Apple to Triple Reseller Network in India to 200 Stores by 2015

The Economic Times reports (via iPhone Hacks) that Apple is tripling the size of its reseller network in India by 2015, growing to 200 stores.
These franchisees, who did not wish to be named, told ET that they have been asked to scale up operations in the country as the Cupertino-based company plans to grow aggressively in the country. In addition to increasing the number of Apple exclusive stores, called Apple Premium Resellers, that are owned and managed by 17 franchisees, the company also plans to expand its presence in multi-brand stores, they said.

Some of these plans are said to have been discussed during last month's Mumbai visit of Hugeues Asseman, Apple's vicepresident (sales) for Europe, Middle-East, India, and Africa. Asseman met key trade partners and franchisee owners to take stock of the company's India business and to outline the company's expansion plans.
We first noticed Apple's expansion plans almost exactly one year ago after the company posted a job listing seeking a new national manager for the Apple Premium Reseller (APR) program in India, with the listing describing a "significant growth plan for the future".

Today's report also indicates that Apple has still been unable to find a way to open its own retail stores in India, given regulations requiring such single-brand stores to source 30% of their products from within the country.
Currently, the US company does not manufacture any of its products in India and the 30% sourcing clause could, therefore, deter it from opening self-owned stores. But it has asked its franchisees to upgrade Apple exclusive stores in India to global specifications, including designing, lay-outs, fit-outs, and is even sending its global suppliers to fit those stores. These outlets will have a lot of glass decor, which Apple uses at its company-owned stores in the US. The cost of refitting and redesigning each store is expected to be more than Rs 1 crore, which the company will reimburse the franchisee owners over a year, an Apple Premium Reseller franchisee said.
Late last year, Apple brought on two new distribution companies to assist with the company's iPhone business in India, an effort that resulted in a tripling of sales.

Apple has also been working to expand its content ecosystem in India, launching music and movies in the iTunes Store back in December and complementing that move with a February debut for the Apple TV.