'60 Minutes' to feature Apple's secret design lab, next-gen Apple Store mockup

Posted:
in General Discussion edited December 2015
Charlie Rose is going deep inside Apple to interview the company's top brass in a special set to include a sneak peek at Apple's "store of the future" with retail chief Angela Ahrendts and a segment featuring Chief Design Officer Jony Ive in his famously secret design studio.


Source: CBS via Twitter


CBS posted a pair photos to the official "60 Minutes" Twitter feed on Thursday showing Rose chatting up Ahrendts and Ive on Apple's campus. The feature is set to air on Sunday.

While the pictures don't reveal much, it appears Rose will be talking one-on-one with Ive in the designer's workshop. Apple normally keeps its design labs locked down, but opens the door to high-profile media outlets from time to time.

In 2009, for example, documentarian Gary Hustwit was allowed to film in the room for his movie "Ojectified." Most recently, Apple itself posted a picture of what appears to be a design labs meeting room to promote its Jobs at Apple microsite in March.

Rose is also getting a sneak peek of Apple's new brick-and-mortar store design language. Thursday's Twitter photo shows Rose and Ahrendts walking through a mock Apple Store appointed with a wide-open spaces, a high-flung ceiling, brightly lit wall graphics and Apple's iconic wooden display tables.

It was reported in February that Ahrendts would collaborate with Ive on an Apple Store redesign to better feature Apple Watch, but the initiative later morphed into a complete brand overhaul.


Source: CBS via Twitter


One of Apple's first "next-gen" stores opened in Brussels in September. Similarly designed Apple Stores are expected to open around the world, including state-side locations in San Francisco, Chicago and Memphis.

Rose is no stranger to Apple's executive team. The lauded interviewer sat down with Ive and fellow designer Marc Newson in 2013, and last year discussed a range of topics with CEO Tim Cook.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    I wonder why Apple chose to allow these interviews at this time? Christmas promotion?
  • Reply 2 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    I wonder why Apple chose to allow these interviews at this time? Christmas promotion?
    That's a good question. Help boost Apple during a time where they don't offer much new product? Because this facility will stop being used next year when they jump to Campus 2?
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 3 of 21
    jonljonl Posts: 210member
    All the recent negative rumors, declining price, management shuffling (OK, so it was firings in 2012), and now this makes me feel like everything is setting up more and more like the end of 2012, when Brian Williams interviewed Tim Cook. And don't forget what happened to Amazon after the 60 Minutes piece, when Bezos talked about drones. I would not regard this as a "boost" to Apple.
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 4 of 21
    Hear that distant roar... That's the sound of Apple's competitors starting up their copy machines... Even North Korea will be tuned in.



    Ever think YOU have Job stress??

    cornchip
  • Reply 5 of 21
    Are those lab machines controlled by OS X or Windows?
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Somehow I get the feeling we're not really going to see inside Apple's secret design studio. I would be surprised if it's more than an interview with Ive in front of some cnc machines.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    Blaster said:
    Are those lab machines controlled by OS X or Windows?
    If you mean the North Koreans, it's most likely to be Red Star. (More here and here.)
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 8 of 21
    Hear that distant roar... That's the sound of Apple's competitors starting up their copy machines... Even North Korea will be tuned in.



    Ever think YOU have Job stress??

    Nice hats guys - helps make the computers look thinner.
    argonaut
  • Reply 9 of 21
    Hear that distant roar... That's the sound of Apple's competitors starting up their copy machines... Even North Korea will be tuned in.



    Ever think YOU have Job stress??


    Looks like the dudes in the background have the new North Korean iPad there. Different sizes too. Nice.
    jony0
  • Reply 10 of 21
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,639member
    RADICAL design changes in the stores?   It's still hard surfaces, Parsons tables and lit displays on the walls.   Looks like a new type of lighted ceiling, they've added indoor trees and small products are displayed on the walls slightly differently, but I certainly wouldn't call those newer stores a radical departure from what Apple had before.    IMO, these stores have a big problem with noise levels.   There's no sound absorption in many of the stores and it's so freaking loud, SIRI can't even hear what you're saying.   In the NYC Lincoln Center store, there's so much reverberation that I once thought a live band was playing in the basement.   I went down there to discover it was a small Bluetooth playback system.    

    Having said that, Apple stores are still reported to have the highest sales per square foot of any physical retailer.   So who am I to criticize them - they're obviously doing (almost) everything right.    But except perhaps at the one-on-one sessions, nowhere in the store does Apple demonstrate how their different offerings work together.   This isn't necessary for someone who already knows how it all works, but such people don't need to shop in an Apple store anyway.   Each Apple product line is still segregated on its own set of tables.    IMO, they should be constantly demonstrating how iCloud and sync works (in spite of its faults and bugs).   And everything is still organized by hardware instead of possibly being organized by accomplishing a given task.    In other words, and as just one example, show me how to shoot video on an iPhone out in the field while my iWatch is sending me messages, field edit it on an iPad and finalize the edit, post-process and share it on a Mac.   Do the equivalent in the store of what's seen in many iPhone/iPad TV spots.       

    As far as "60 Minutes" is concerned, Apple isn't going to disclose anything they don't want to.   Anyone who thinks that Rose is going to open a door and find a car, a consumer robot or the next MacBook Pro is fooling themselves.    And what's that inside the cabinet that Rose and Ive are in front of?   It looks like a table lamp base to me.  Is Ive using the facility to design products for his home?  

    And who still watches "60 Minutes"?   It's mostly geriatrics, no?

     
  • Reply 11 of 21
    I wonder why Apple chose to allow these interviews at this time? Christmas promotion?
    It's showing less than a week before Xmas.  That doesn't seem like particularly good timing to me.
  • Reply 12 of 21
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,002member
    I wonder why Apple chose to allow these interviews at this time? Christmas promotion?
    Kinda last minute, no? At this point stock is low. 
  • Reply 13 of 21
    ronnronn Posts: 567member
    zoetmb said:

    And who still watches "60 Minutes"?   It's mostly geriatrics, no?
    60 Minutes is the most watched primetime news magazine show and usually appears on the top 10 most watched weekly program list. Ain't that many geezers watching! ;-)
  • Reply 14 of 21
    I wonder why Apple chose to allow these interviews at this time? Christmas promotion?
    Kinda last minute, no? At this point stock is low. 
    I'm still guessing AAPL will close out the year around $100-105. No plans by me to buy or sell.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    zoetmb said:

    And who still watches "60 Minutes"?   It's mostly geriatrics, no?
    Yeah 60 Minutes is consistently in the top 15 primetime televisions shows.  When it's football season its typically a top 10.

    I agree the stores are more of a refinement than an overhaul.  The biggest difference is moving from metallic walls and surfaces to more natural elements.  Stone walls and floors, green elements (full on trees in some stores, living wall elements in others), and a reduction of clutter by removing window displays make the store seem a little more open and calm.   But arguably the biggest change happening in that photo is the return of a big screen theatre area, and the removal of a dedicated genius bar.  That screen has a lot of potential to be used for live in store demos.  The workshops were recently restructured to incorporate some of the issues you brought up about showing how the products can integrate with each other.  By removing the physical genius bar customers can now wait for their appointments, checked in, in a more spread out area.  So I do see some improvements already coming into play here. 

  • Reply 16 of 21
    Are Apple’s tables custom? I figure they’d have to be, what with including built in cash registers and bag repositories.

    What’s so hard about running the power up through a leg? Get rid of the squiggle cords.
  • Reply 17 of 21
    I must say, I like the idea of these new Apple stores.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    nctjoe said:
    zoetmb said:

    And who still watches "60 Minutes"?   It's mostly geriatrics, no?
    Yeah 60 Minutes is consistently in the top 15 primetime televisions shows.  When it's football season its typically a top 10.

    I agree the stores are more of a refinement than an overhaul.  The biggest difference is moving from metallic walls and surfaces to more natural elements.  Stone walls and floors, green elements (full on trees in some stores, living wall elements in others), and a reduction of clutter by removing window displays make the store seem a little more open and calm.   But arguably the biggest change happening in that photo is the return of a big screen theatre area, and the removal of a dedicated genius bar.  That screen has a lot of potential to be used for live in store demos.  The workshops were recently restructured to incorporate some of the issues you brought up about showing how the products can integrate with each other.  By removing the physical genius bar customers can now wait for their appointments, checked in, in a more spread out area.  So I do see some improvements already coming into play here. 

    Ah I noticed my local Apple stores no longer have window displays. I wonder if that's permanent or something or something they're just testing out. All but one of my Apple stores are in shopping malls and none of them have been redesigned yet. They look really sparse without window displays. One thing I think the new stores should bring back is product signage on the tables. I don't think it would add much clutter to have a sign in the middle of the table that said IPhone, iPad, Mac etc. 
  • Reply 19 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    rogifan_old said:
    Ah I noticed my local Apple stores no longer have window displays. I wonder if that's permanent or something or something they're just testing out. All but one of my Apple stores are in shopping malls and none of them have been redesigned yet. They look really sparse without window displays. One thing I think the new stores should bring back is product signage on the tables. I don't think it would add much clutter to have a sign in the middle of the table that said IPhone, iPad, Mac etc. 
    Yesterday I walked by on my way home and noticed they were all wearing red shirts. I figure any window displays would have stood out to me. I'll see if I can walk by Apple Store today to verify it's the same with my store. 
  • Reply 20 of 21
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    Are Apple’s tables custom? I figure they’d have to be, what with including built in cash registers and bag repositories.

    What’s so hard about running the power up through a leg? Get rid of the squiggle cords.
    They are absolutely custom. At least at one point—and I assume it continues today—they were made by Fetter, a woodworking company out of Utah.
    The following link shows what they look(ed) like underneath but I don't think that's the current underneath design of the tables (despite having no evidence to support this assumption).
    As for the power cord, if you go by and Apple Store at night you'll see a cleaning crew inside—mine is a block away from my house so I can't but walk by it frequently at odd hours. I wonder if they move the legs so they can clean thoroughly each day. If the power cord was in the leg it could some logistics issues with connecting/disconnecting.

    Of course, this doesn't mean the solution isn't insurmountable. Off the top of my head I could see that one leg, on the inside, has a cut out just enough for the power cord and enough room for a hand to get in there to connect and disconnect. You still make it a coil cable there so when detached it will recoil up a little (an inch or two would be fine) so that you can then move the table around without fear of bending or breaking the connector. They cold also include a clamp for the leg internally so that you can't forget about the plug and still move the table. With this off-the-cuff idea, the problem they would have still have with all current stores would be the location of the power outlets. I'm fairly certainly all of the Apple Stores I've been in had cement foundations so to move the power outlets to accommodate the new plug location in the tables would be more trouble than its worth.

    Additionally, even if one thinks that my instant idea is good, there could still be untold issues that has caused Apple to discount it as a working concept. I have to think Apple has also considered that solution so if they aren't doing it they are must have found some logistic, safety, maintenance, or cost issues that make it less than ideal than the current solution.
    nolamacguy
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