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Apple's 'Retail 2.0' overhaul launches first in Australia

post #1 of 159
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Apple retail stores have taken the wraps off Apple's new retail upgrade, which makes use of interactive iPad displays to provide product information, pricing and features.

Apple launched "Retail 2.0" on Sunday morning in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Apple retail stores, as noted by Mac Prices Australia. The Cupertino, Calif., company opened its first retail stores on May 19, 2001, in McLean, Virginia and Glendale, Calif.

According to the report, the main change is the addition of stationary iPads placed next to other Apple products in order to display product prices, information and features. The touchscreen tablets can also be used to compare models and ask for help from a specialist. Photos of the new iPad display units reveal that the devices are placed in plexiglass.

The iPads appear to be running a custom software, as customers report that pressing the home button on the tablets does nothing. Though the power cable for the device does not appear to connect to the dock, one person familiar with the matter said the cable is indeed connected to the dock connector, but is "very well hidden." Also, detaching the cable will reportedly activate an alarm.

Some reports also suggested that Apple retail employees were wearing party hats to celebrate the occasion. Customers reported via Twitter that the Apple store updates created a "totally new experience."

Apple Retail 2.0 display iPad | Source: leoleakey

New Apple Store "Talk to a Specialist" feature

Apple Store in Brisbane | Source: Mac Prices Australia

AppleInsider revealed on Wednesday that Apple was stockpiling iPads in preparation for a retail overhaul. The new in-house iPads were due to be rolled out alongside an updated version of RetailMe, Apple's proprietary retail software.



Apple reportedly scheduled overnight shifts for retail employees in preparation for the updates to the Apple store. AppleInsider was first to report in April that Apple was blocking employees from taking vacation from May 20 to May 22. Mandatory meetings have been scheduled on Sunday morning and evening for Apple retail staff.

Apple has also taken offline the Order Status page from its website until Sunday, May 22 in order to perform a system update.



A recent report claimed Apple will update its "Apple Store" retail app for iOS this weekend, adding full build-to-order purchasing options to the application. Apple first released the retail app last year with support for stock configuration orders.
post #2 of 159
That’s a good idea. Expensive, but good.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #3 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thats a good idea. Expensive, but good.

Heh yeah. Didn't they just have a piece of paper there before?

I wonder whether they have iPads next to the iPads...
post #4 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshong View Post

Heh yeah. Didn't they just have a piece of paper there before?

I wonder whether they have iPads next to the iPads...

Inset iPod Touches next to the iPads? Inset iPod Classics next to the iPhones and iPod Touches? inset iPod Shuffles next to the iPod Classics? Inset iPod Shuffles for audio only price and capacity options of iPod Nanos? Inset 27 iMacs next to iPod Shuffles?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #5 of 159
Nice glossy screens on those iPads - I assume they'll let you move them around so you can read them.
post #6 of 159
A shot of the Brisbane store to illustrate Apple's retail store upgrade! Go Brissy. (Image could have been of a store anywhere of course.)

Guess that the 'revolutionary' iPad has a part in revolutionising Apple's in-store experience. For me too, I now have the electrical diagram of one of my vehicles on an iPad - 40 pages less paper printed. Of course, I'm only consuming that information! \
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post #7 of 159
I had never heard of McLean, Virginia. Looking it up on Wikipedia only shows a population just under 40k for th 2000 census. So why was this city chosen as the inaugural Apple Store?

Per Wikipedia, "McLean is home to many diplomats, members of Congress and high-ranking federal government officials, entrepreneurs and service businesses partially attributable to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the Central Intelligence Agency.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLean,_Virginia
Here are some screenshoots from the original opening 10 years ago this week.





The first picture appears to be a rather plump Steve Jobs than we’ve come to know in recent years.

Except for the excessive space occupied by boxes for the CD-ROM-based applications the store still looks fairly modern and certainly more classy than other electronic stores.


edit: I had forgotten they’d had some video center in the back of the store and a checkout desk at the front. I much prefer the Genius Bar being along the back instead of along the side at the back and not having the “register” tablet at the front. I wonder when they changed that? It’s surely been years now.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #8 of 159
I went to the Apple Store in downtown Montreal today (21 May 2011), and the staff there was carrying iPads around and helping people with them.

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post #9 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I had never heard of McLean, Virginia. Looking it up on Wikipedia only shows a population just under 40k for th 2000 census. So why was this city chosen as the inaugural Apple Store?

Although technically it's in McLean, the key fact is that it's in the Tyson Corner's mall. Tyson's Corners is probably THE shopping destination in the Washington, DC region (or at least on the Virginia side. The capital region is known for it's very high rate of college graduates (and advanced degree holders) and income levels. So forget "McLean" and think Northern Virginia or US Capital Region.
post #10 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Photos of the new iPad display units reveal that the devices are covered in plexiglass.

Obviously they can't be "covered" in plexiglass, or else the touch screens wouldn't work.
post #11 of 159
Here's the deal -- any retail store can have an interactive spokesman (low key salesman) at every retail station for $500/per... Total. No breaks, no OT, no raises, no healthcare/benes...

In a way, it's sad... But that's progress!

...you damn well better believe that there's an app for that!
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post #12 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by chabig View Post

Obviously they can't be "covered" in plexiglass, or else the touch screens wouldn't work.

Are you saying plexiglass, specifically, is a capacitance inhibitor.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #13 of 159
Great to see the overhaul is worldwide and starting right here in Australia

It's a great 'innovation' of sorts to keep the Apple Retail Stores current and increasingly successful and unique.
post #14 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thats a good idea. Expensive, but good.

iPads cost signifcantly less than people though.
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post #15 of 159
Wow, that's thrilling. I can't wait to buy something from the Apple Store now. New iPad displays give me a total hard on. If I have ever wanted to buy a Mac, now would be the time.
post #16 of 159
What a total fucking non-event.
post #17 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

What a total fucking non-event.

Hmmm, i don't think it was ever supposed to be an event. It was only rumour sites that ever suggested there was any sort of event planned. Simply some staff training events on some point of sale changes.

Obviously not worth getting too excited about, but probably little reason to be upset also?
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post #18 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by ameldrum1 View Post

Hmmm, i don't think it was ever supposed to be an event. It was only rumour sites that ever suggested there was any sort of event planned. Simply some staff training events on some point of sale changes.

Obviously not worth getting too excited about, but probably little reason to be upset also?


I'm not upset, it's just staggering that this is even getting coverage. It's not exactly a huge celebration for the average punter is it?

They might have had some sort of promo or an anniversary edition of something, but I guess that wouldn't rake in the profits.....
post #19 of 159
Not what most of us were looking for (new product release, back to school promo etc). However it is reasurring in that it shows that Apple is constantly trying to innovate and update both the customer experience and product info.
More good things to come hopefully as the release of LION takes place and IPHONE5 takes shape.
post #20 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Here's the deal -- any retail store can have an interactive spokesman (low key salesman) at every retail station for $500/per... Total. No breaks, no OT, no raises, no healthcare/benes...

In a way, it's sad... But that's progress!

...you damn well better believe that there's an app for that!

I hope this was just a very poor attempt at humor or sarcasm.

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"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

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post #21 of 159
Seems like overkill but of course Apple don't have to pay retail for their iPads!
post #22 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

Here's the deal -- any retail store can have an interactive spokesman (low key salesman) at every retail station for $500/per... Total. No breaks, no OT, no raises, no healthcare/benes...

In a way, it's sad... But that's progress!

...you damn well better believe that there's an app for that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Realistic View Post

I hope this was just a very poor attempt at humor or sarcasm.

Not at all.

It should be fairly obvious that this use of an iPad applies to a lot more retail outlets than the 300, or so, Apple stores.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akf2000 View Post

Seems like overkill but of course Apple don't have to pay retail for their iPads!

There are other costs -- wiring, special cases, installation, maintenance...

But look at it from a retailer's perspective,

The retailer pays a minimum-wage employee $10 per hour or $400 per week. The retailer also matches most of the "withholding" benefits that are deducted from the employee's paycheck, plus other benefits, overhead, hiring costs.

It is not unreasonable to assume that it cost the retailer double what he pays the employee.

So, an iPad costs $500, plus let's say, $300 for the case and wiring. The employer can recover his purchase costs in about 2 weeks (by not employing someone to do what the iPad does).

After that, there is maintenance -- let's say, $50 per week -- probably a wash compared to paying for lunch time and breaks for our $10 per hour employee.

Likely, there are tax deductions available to the company to offset some of the purchasing and installation costs.

This may appear to be a harsh way to look at things -- but that's reality. The businessman is pressured to run his business as efficiently as possible to keep the prices low to its customers -- just to meet competition.
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post #23 of 159
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"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #24 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Thats a good idea. Expensive, but good.

Not that expensive. The cost to apple is only like $100 per unit.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

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post #25 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshong View Post

Heh yeah. Didn't they just have a piece of paper there before?

I wonder whether they have iPads next to the iPads...

Well there's the funny thing. I wonder if they ever thought of having the computer itself tell you about itself.
I think this highlights that the iPhone and iPad are intuitive to use, but OSX is not, even though it compares favorably with Windows.

Given that computers are perfect training tools, it's odd that they are not designed to teach you about themselves. That applies equally in the store as at home after purchase. Consider all the security conversations recently and the talk of best practise - users have to surf the internet for hours to learn best practise to use the perfect training tool in front of them. Ditto sales.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #26 of 159
I thought they would use the iPad approach for boxed software and accessories.

So they might have had a little row of boxes, but the one at the end is an iPad, that tells you what else you can buy, shows software demos, hardware demos, etc.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #27 of 159
I think they need to find some way to build the iPads in to the table, because it's too confusing otherwise: it's not clear that they are part of the furniture instead of something offered for sale.

Also, what happens if you reboot the iPad, does the Store App automatically start up? Because I reckon people will try that, because the reason they go to the Apple Store is not to buy stuff but to play on the Internet.
post #28 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

I'm not upset, it's just staggering that this is even getting coverage. It's not exactly a huge celebration for the average punter is it?

They might have had some sort of promo or an anniversary edition of something, but I guess that wouldn't rake in the profits.....

I don't see what's so staggering about it? It is a major change to the way Apple displays information in their stores and this is AppleInsider so I don't understand your surprise that they report it?
post #29 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I think they need to find some way to build the iPads in to the table, because it's too confusing otherwise: it's not clear that they are part of the furniture instead of something offered for sale.

Also, what happens if you reboot the iPad, does the Store App automatically start up? Because I reckon people will try that, because the reason they go to the Apple Store is not to buy stuff but to play on the Internet.

I read somewhere (in the article) that the iPad buttons are disabled, and power is not supplied through the 30-pin connector.
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"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #30 of 159
Saw some photos on Macstories.

So many wires, I wonder how Steve feels about this.
post #31 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scaramanga89 View Post

I'm not upset, it's just staggering that this is even getting coverage. It's not exactly a huge celebration for the average punter is it?

They might have had some sort of promo or an anniversary edition of something, but I guess that wouldn't rake in the profits.....

In the end, it's just a chance to chat about Apple stuff. It has no meaning.

Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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Many of the most important software concepts were invented in the 70s and forgotten in the 80s.

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post #32 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by PXT View Post

Well there's the funny thing. I wonder if they ever thought of having the computer itself tell you about itself.
I think this highlights that the iPhone and iPad are intuitive to use, but OSX is not, even though it compares favorably with Windows.

Given that computers are perfect training tools, it's odd that they are not designed to teach you about themselves. That applies equally in the store as at home after purchase. Consider all the security conversations recently and the talk of best practise - users have to surf the internet for hours to learn best practise to use the perfect training tool in front of them. Ditto sales.

The computer can't tell you about itself while you're using it without interfering with its use.
post #33 of 159
More photos and a video (thanks Robodude):
http://www.macstories.net/news/apple...re/#more-23142

And yes, it seems that they do have iPads to tell you about the iPads.
post #34 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Are you saying plexiglass, specifically, is a capacitance inhibitor.

The photos at macstories show the ipads mounted on top of a thick wedge of lucite. No plexiglass at all. Very awesome.
post #35 of 159
We're all upgraded here in Tokyo. The ipads are inset in glass and the information interface is very user friendly. putting them next to laptops is a bit cluttered, but for ipods they dock right on the same glass(plastic?) unit, it's very chic. All in all, I like it.
post #36 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doctor David View Post

The photos at macstories show the ipads mounted on top of a thick wedge of lucite. No plexiglass at all. Very awesome.

Plexiglas and Lucite are the same material, just different brands...
post #37 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post




The first picture appears to be a rather plump Steve Jobs than weve come to know in recent years.

The second picture (quoted above) is also Steve Jobs, I believe.
post #38 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

The second picture (quoted above) is also Steve Jobs, I believe.

And Blue Dalmatian! Where's the Flower Power?
post #39 of 159
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyinscotland View Post

Plexiglas and Lucite are the same material, just different brands...

Ah yes indeed. I must have confused polycarbonate with plexiglas. Thanks for the correction.
post #40 of 159
My thoughts on this are that is is brilliant for a few reasons. First, it could reduces the need for as many staff. Next, everyone will be trying out an iPad even if shopping for a MacBook Pro or an iPod Nano and lastly maybe Apple are demonstrating yet another use of an iPad. Perhaps other companies will invest in the custom versions of point of sale iPads. I can see them being used everywhere from museums and exhibitions to POS for just about any item sales staff have problems explaining (Best Buy anyone?).

I guarantee we will see RIM's tablet and Google's Android tablets suddenly appearing doing the exact same thing as those companies 'suddenly' have the exact same idea. I bet Microsoft are up early this morning planning their design for one too.

P.S. Sorry off topic mods ... but I have to share ... I am typing this on my MacBook Pro i7 which is on my lap ... it isn't cooking my legs! In fact it is cool the read out is only 35*C! I installed smcFanControl (Google it) and simply set minimum fan speed to 5000 on both fans and have had a lovely cool MBP ever since. I swear my battery life has increased not decreased! I know I could wear the fans out sooner but I manually switch it off a lot which is very simple to do.
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
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From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
"Google doesn't sell you anything, they just sell you!"
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