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In-store iPad 2 displays expected to save Apple time and money

post #1 of 41
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Apple's new interactive iPad 2 displays will not only create interest and generate sales for the touchscreen tablet, but they will also save the company money in the long run, one analyst believes.

Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities sent a note to investors on Monday commenting on Apple's retail overhaul that debuted on Sunday. The Cupertino, Calif., company upgraded its stores and now utilizes iPad 2 units as interactive displays to provide product information, pricing and features.

White said he believes the introduction of iPads into the retail experience will take Apple's already highly successful stores "to the next level."

"Additionally, we believe this initiative will ultimately save Apple money, as the iPad 2 product displays can be refreshed much faster and cheaper versus printing, a concept that other retails could implement," he said.

White visited Apple's flagship Fifth Avenue store in New York City, where he said about 150 iPad 2 displays were already set up. In addition, some employees were also utilizing iPad 2 units, as employees have been equipped with new RetailMe software.

Apple Retail 2.0 display iPad | Source: leoleakey

Apple said in its most recent quarterly earnings report that it had 323 total stores at the end of the March quarter, with average revenue of $9.9 million per store, a year-over-year increase of 90 percent. The company expects to open 40 new stores in its fiscal year 2011, with nearly three-quarters of those stores located outside of the U.S.
post #2 of 41
I think iPads are already being used by many businesses in this way.
post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

I think iPads are already being used by many businesses in this way.

This provides a useful template for many more businesses, who may have been considering
iPads but needed a little nudge from Apple.
post #4 of 41
of the capabilities of upcoming cloud services.
post #5 of 41
They're a little confusing. It's not readily apparent that you can touch the little "feature" pictures on the device to bring up more information. No indication that the little "Core i7" photo is actually a button.

And the iPad table is swamped with the things, one for each iPad. Hard to tell which one is the display, and which one is the product on display. (grin)
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

I think iPads are already being used by many businesses in this way.


I've seen iPads in many high-end restaurants in Manhattan, as well as a couple in southern Connecticut. It's almost always the wine list they use the iPad for. I love mine, but this seems like overkill. Maybe not...but it definitely surprised me the first few times. After that I just shrugged. I'll admit it does make finding wine a bit easier, and the waiter doesn't have to stand there to tell you about each bottle. We always end up asking him anyway, but maybe it has cut their costs. Or maybe it's trendy. We'll see. I checked for angry birds one time and...no dice.
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

I think iPads are already being used by many businesses in this way.

I would say in fact they are not. Otherwise this wouldn't be the big deal that it is.

But I agree that it could be. And not just retail businesses. Museums etc could also make sure of this kind of set up for their information screens. They could even be set up to allow for viewing or even hearing several languages
post #8 of 41
Who are these worthless analysts? I could've predicted that this change would either 1) increase sales or 2) decrease costs. Duh...why else would Apple do this?
post #9 of 41
Still seems like a waste to me. iPads being used as nothing more than a glamorous price tag? And not to mention during a high demand beginning of the iPad 2 life cycle? Imagine walking into an Apple Store wanting to buy an iPad 2 only to be turned away for a couple weeks and having to walk past all those iPad 2s being used to give you a price, details, and comparisons. I, for one, would be rather annoyed. Using 1st gen iPads would have made more sense; there's just far too much wasted potential here any way you slice it.
post #10 of 41
I could print TONNES of paper before it is worth as much as iPad.

But of coz it also help selling iPad, but money saving would definitely not be one of them.
post #11 of 41
This system goes far beyond an interactive price tag or features list. This system is a step toward something that retail has always wanted more intel and tracking on.

Who is coming through our doors, how many are browsing versus looking for a sale, how many are actively seeking an associate, how many that are seeking an associate actually stick around until they are helped, what devices are being examined, etc.

Although the system relies on inputs from the customers through the door this is a much bigger step toward gathering the key retail intel than having an analyst observe and ask a few select customers some directional questions. The data this system can generate will be pure gold for the Apple Store powers that be. Decision making will be better supported and managers will be able to make stronger cases for more or fewer employees and other resources.
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post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

This provides a useful template for many more businesses, who may have been considering
iPads but needed a little nudge from Apple.

Indeed. Possibly Apple is already doing this, but I think they need to develop a sort of "embedded iPad" product for this purpose.

Perhaps a wedge shaped iPad or one on a flexible stand. Something that can get the same recognition from the public as the current iPad has and that can be placed on a counter anywhere from hotels to retail stores, that people will instantly recognise as an information kiosk.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

I would say in fact they are not. Otherwise this wouldn't be the big deal that it is.

But I agree that it could be. And not just retail businesses. Museums etc could also make sure of this kind of set up for their information screens. They could even be set up to allow for viewing or even hearing several languages

Out in California's department stores, the makeup counters show prospective customers how to apply makeup. Different colors go on digital faces. With iPad2, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't take your photo and do a digital make-over.
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tokolosh View Post

This system goes far beyond an interactive price tag or features list. This system is a step toward something that retail has always wanted more intel and tracking on.

Who is coming through our doors, how many are browsing versus looking for a sale, how many are actively seeking an associate, how many that are seeking an associate actually stick around until they are helped, what devices are being examined, etc.

Although the system relies on inputs from the customers through the door this is a much bigger step toward gathering the key retail intel than having an analyst observe and ask a few select customers some directional questions. The data this system can generate will be pure gold for the Apple Store powers that be. Decision making will be better supported and managers will be able to make stronger cases for more or fewer employees and other resources.

Won't be long before the robots are coming. All Apple has to do is spend their profit money on buying a robotics company and that iPad Kiosk will also wrap up your purchase for you.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I could print TONNES of paper before it is worth as much as iPad.

But of coz it also help selling iPad, but money saving would definitely not be one of them.

I won't pretend I know all the numbers, but it's more complicated than that.
-the cost, for Apple, to build an iPad 2 is MUCH less than the retail $499
-updates to displays can be done instantaneously, over the internet from Cupertino
-these same displays can be used through multiple iterations of devices, or switched over to display other information
-they are used to manage the support queue, so that customers don't have to hunt down a specialist
-it further differentiates the experience/novelty of going to an Apple Store, which in itself has value: if it makes going to the Apple Store 10% more fun and brings in 10% more potential customers, that will offset the price of a few iPads veeeery easily
post #16 of 41
I bet this was pretty inexpensive for Apple to do, as well. Compared to the retail iPad, there are probably no cameras, no speakers, no battery, a smaller hd, possibly less RAM (only the one app to run at a time), plus obviously no retail markup... I'm thinking these cost Apple about $100 each...
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post

-updates to displays can be done instantaneously, over the internet from Cupertino
-these same displays can be used through multiple iterations of devices, or switched over to display other information

Agreed. But considering the yearly update of iPad hardware, I wonder if they'll replace all of them with next-generation iPads. Maybe they're no longer shiny after a year in the store anyway.

Then, wouldn't it be nice if you'd get a used iPad with your new Mac? Just like getting a hanger and garment bag with your new suit.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

I bet this was pretty inexpensive for Apple to do, as well. Compared to the retail iPad, there are probably no cameras, no speakers, no battery, a smaller hd, possibly less RAM (only the one app to run at a time), plus obviously no retail markup... I'm thinking these cost Apple about $100 each...

Almost certainly NOT a customer hardware configuration. The cost of added a configuration management for, say, 15,000 units plus replacements would more than overwhelm and marginal cost savings is parts. These units cost Apple ~ $325 ea. Even assuming your $100 ea which I think would be low, at $225 ea savings that's only $3.4 million savings world-wide. Would not begin to cover the cost of managing a supply chain change to implement the major changes your talking about.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmovie View Post

Won't be long before the robots are coming. All Apple has to do is spend their profit money on buying a robotics company and that iPad Kiosk will also wrap up your purchase for you.

I for one welcome our new *automatron* overlords.

It seems that any info that helps a company have better knowledge around how their resources are being used and whether they need more/less resources at a particular location is pure gold. While serving the customers may not become an entirely automated process, making a business case within the company could.
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post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

I could print TONNES of paper before it is worth as much as iPad.

But of coz it also help selling iPad, but money saving would definitely not be one of them.

Ink and paper costs are not the only things that Apple has to contend with. There is shipping costs of sending out the new cards to each store. There is also the cost of paying employees to go around and update each card as well. And if the employees can go around changing the cards, it's probably not too hard for customers to go mucking with them as well, which means that the employees also have to keep checking the cards as well (at least periodically -- but it's still another cost that Apple has to bear).

Another consideration -- Apple is a technology company. Why shouldn't they being using their technology to solve existing problems in retail in their own creative ways? Using iPads is a great way to demonstrate their technology to potential customers and to also provide relevant information about the products they are looking at. Win-win.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Almost certainly NOT a customer hardware configuration. The cost of added a configuration management for, say, 15,000 units plus replacements would more than overwhelm and marginal cost savings is parts. These units cost Apple ~ $325 ea. Even assuming your $100 ea which I think would be low, at $225 ea savings that's only $3.4 million savings world-wide. Would not begin to cover the cost of managing a supply chain change to implement the major changes your talking about.

I would expect these are stock devices as well -- perhaps there is a custom iOS build in place to allow for the home button to be disabled, but beyond that, they are probably 16GB WiFi models. Makes replacement easier too for when one ultimately gets broken in the store.
post #22 of 41
I am looking forward to having it be easier to get help in the store.

My question is what will they do with these when the next gen iPad comes out? Keep them or replace them?
post #23 of 41
Companies using this kind of interactive electronic helper can also collect and analyze data about their customers' questions and interests, and adjust their businesses accordingly. It is hard to do that with a paper sign, even with the help of human salespeople.

Edit: I missed the post by Tokolosh, saying about the same thing. Hate when that happens.
post #24 of 41
It's interesting. The iPad has become a replacement for the traditional kiosk. Those manufacturers should be the next to worry about being pushed out of business.

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post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmovie View Post

Out in California's department stores, the makeup counters show prospective customers how to apply makeup. Different colors go on digital faces. With iPad2, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't take your photo and do a digital make-over.

What a good idea. It seems like an app could be developed to let people do this from the privacy of their homes and order the makeup online. Inside stores the biggest problem would probably be preventing one person from bogarting the device for hours at a time.
post #26 of 41
While I'll admit my poor first experience with the new apple iPad displays may have simply been the result of shopping in New Jersey, i found the level of help down right poor.

Usually when walking into an apple store by simply grabbing the first smiling blue shirted buddy one can get a very devoted companion all the way through the purchase. Instead, when I asked for help from the nearest available employee I was directed to the iPad display where he insisted on clicking the "talk with a specialist" button and was then told to wait patiently next to the iPad. Not exactly a good first impression with this new method.
post #27 of 41
[QUOTE=AppleInsider;1868455]Apple's new interactive iPad 2 displays will not only create interest and generate sales for the touchscreen tablet, but they will also save the company money in the long run, one analyst believes.


Slightly off topic, I know.

Couldn't help but notice, as I read the headlines, that you used the phrase, "Apple Store" a couple of times. Did I miss something? Did Apple lose or abandon its legal defense of the name, "AppStore?"
post #28 of 41
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post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

They're a little confusing. It's not readily apparent that you can touch the little "feature" pictures on the device to bring up more information. No indication that the little "Core i7" photo is actually a button.

And the iPad table is swamped with the things, one for each iPad. Hard to tell which one is the display, and which one is the product on display. (grin)

I find your comment surprising and confusing. Do you have an iPad? It is a "touch" device after all. Being an intuitive device, it would be natural or instinctive to touch an image and expect it may or may not likely be a link to more information. As I can see, it is no different than touching an image link when using Safari on the iPad. If you touch an image and nothing happens, then it wasn't meant to be a link. Very simple.

Also, from what I observe from articles I've read this morning, the iPad "sales" device is incased in plastic and sits stationary in landscape view.

Confusing? Really?
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by VonMamer View Post

Usually when walking into an apple store by simply grabbing the first smiling blue shirted buddy one can get a very devoted companion all the way through the purchase. Instead, when I asked for help from the nearest available employee I was directed to the iPad display where he insisted on clicking the "talk with a specialist" button and was then told to wait patiently next to the iPad. Not exactly a good first impression with this new method.

Hmm... this was my very first concern when I saw that speciaist button. I know what you're talking about and I'll be very dissappointed to lose my dedicated blue shirted buddy.
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alladdinn View Post

Couldn't help but notice, as I read the headlines, that you used the phrase, "Apple Store" a couple of times. Did I miss something? Did Apple lose or abandon its legal defense of the name, "AppStore?"

The Apple Store and the App Store are two different things.
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

They're a little confusing. It's not readily apparent that you can touch the little "feature" pictures on the device to bring up more information. No indication that the little "Core i7" photo is actually a button.

I can see how that might be true right now, but I think its very temporary issue. Consider the desktop mouse. Once Macs shipped with a booklet describing the functionality and how to use the mouse but that simply hasnt been needed for decades.

As busy as Apple Stores are it seems likely that someone will see another customer or employee using the kioskelle and then use it themselves after they are finished.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KrakaJap View Post

Still seems like a waste to me. iPads being used as nothing more than a glamorous price tag?

They are a lot more interactive than you think. Read the previous articles on them.

Quote:
Using 1st gen iPads would have made more sense; there's just far too much wasted potential here any way you slice it.

I dont see how.

What iPads are hard to come by? Perhaps these are rejects that Apple couldnt sell but still good enough to be plugged in and used and interactive displays. Do these iPads connect to the Apple Store via WiFi or via the 30-pin connector? I dont think these are 64GB iPad 2s that Apple decided it didnt want to make $700 on.
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

This provides a useful template for many more businesses, who may have been considering
iPads but needed a little nudge from Apple.

Yes. Bottom line, retail and other businesses need to be shown the way, and as it happens, Apple has a business it can field test its products on. As Warren Buffet says, they eat their own dog food, except in this case it definitely results (or should result) in a superior product.

This is only another multimillion dollar line of potential new business for Apple, and a sea change in how retail (at least) business is done. That's all.

Apple should twist the arm of their ad agency as well, to find new ways of incorporating the iPad in their business, and developing software for them. (I don't think they'd have to twist TOO hard.)
post #34 of 41
Hey Neil,

Want to become a better writer? Type "use vs. utilize" into google.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by physguy View Post

Almost certainly NOT a customer hardware configuration. The cost of added a configuration management for, say, 15,000 units plus replacements would more than overwhelm and marginal cost savings is parts. These units cost Apple ~ $325 ea. Even assuming your $100 ea which I think would be low, at $225 ea savings that's only $3.4 million savings world-wide. Would not begin to cover the cost of managing a supply chain change to implement the major changes your talking about.

Agreed! When the iPad3 comes out all these units are destined for refurbishment and sale. Again, reducing Apple's initial investment!
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrakaJap View Post

Still seems like a waste to me. iPads being used as nothing more than a glamorous price tag? And not to mention during a high demand beginning of the iPad 2 life cycle? Imagine walking into an Apple Store wanting to buy an iPad 2 only to be turned away for a couple weeks and having to walk past all those iPad 2s being used to give you a price, details, and comparisons. I, for one, would be rather annoyed. Using 1st gen iPads would have made more sense; there's just far too much wasted potential here any way you slice it.

I sympathize with you, my friend. It must be hell going through life with that huge 'cloud of negativity' hanging over your head, blocking out the sun. Imagine a life where every day is dull and dreary .... must really get you down. I'd explain to you 'what a sunny day feels like' ..... but how do you explain an airplane to a fish? sigh! \
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post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarlingFurball View Post

Hey Neil,

Want to become a better writer? Type "use vs. utilize" into google.

As first posts go, that was one of them.

Wel...come... ... to the forum...

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post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol77 View Post

I've seen iPads in many high-end restaurants in Manhattan, as well as a couple in southern Connecticut. It's almost always the wine list they use the iPad for. I love mine, but this seems like overkill. Maybe not...but it definitely surprised me the first few times. After that I just shrugged. I'll admit it does make finding wine a bit easier, and the waiter doesn't have to stand there to tell you about each bottle. We always end up asking him anyway, but maybe it has cut their costs. Or maybe it's trendy. We'll see. I checked for angry birds one time and...no dice.

It also means that the last bottle you spent time on deciding over hasn't been snapped up by another table, prompting the waiter to return with the bad news and beginning the selection process all over again.

iPad's and iPod touches with custom Apps, linked to a backend hosted on a Lion based OSX server running on a Mini, MacBook or iMac could present an all in one solution for small to medium businesses at a fairly low TCO, when you consider all the things that could be replaced.
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post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by [Greg] View Post

I bet this was pretty inexpensive for Apple to do, as well. Compared to the retail iPad, there are probably no cameras, no speakers, no battery, a smaller hd, possibly less RAM (only the one app to run at a time), plus obviously no retail markup... I'm thinking these cost Apple about $100 each...

???
They are regular iPad 2's as explained in the article, not a different, specially made iPad.
And the iPad does not have an HD.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It's interesting. The iPad has become a replacement for the traditional kiosk. Those manufacturers should be the next to worry about being pushed out of business.

Not necessarily. Good businesses learn to evolve with changing technology. A kiosk is just a PC inside a cabinet. Kiosk-makers could redesign their kiosks around iPads. But, a 10-inch screen is kinda small-ish for kiosk purposes, I think. Which is to say that they're fine for input and basic informationmost ATM screens are about that size. But for real interactivity and information densitysay, a children's museum, or any museum, for that matteryou'd want a touch device with a larger screen. If or when iMacs go full-multi-touch*, is when kiosk makers should sit up and take notice.

Hmmm... Come to think of it, kiosk-makers could pair an iMac and iPad together, using the iPad as the input device and the iMac as the information device.

* Lion appears to be an intermediate step towards an OS version that supports full-screen multi-touch, as well as traditional cursor-based input**.


** The mouse & trackpad are not going away anytime soon.
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