MacRumors and Heylookitsseric are both claiming Apple will be updating their Apple Store app to allow customers self-service checkout for off-the-shelf items like iPhone and iPad cases at Apple Retail.
Apple is also updating its own Apple store app on iPhone/iPod to incorporate EasyPay that allows customers to check themselves out for accessories purchases. EasyPay is the same platform Apple employees use to complete those in-store credit card purchases. Since higher priced Apple products are all stocked up in the backroom, you'll still have to find the help of an employee. Expect the update in a few days on November 3rd, just in time for the holidays.
Hopefully Apple and their customers are both nerdier and more competent than those at my local grocery store or turn self-serve into an ordeal far beyond any staff-driven transaction. "Beep. Put the item down." "I did." Beep.Put the item down." "I DID!" "BEEP! Y U NO PUT ITEM DOWN!" "HULK SMASH PUNY MACHINE!" And, well, we all know how that ends.
IN addition to in-store pick up of online orders, which Apple has also begun experimenting with in San Francisco, they're also reportedly looking into shipping to multiple address on Apple Online to make gift-giving easier than ever.
In this day and age, when other online retailers like Future Shop make it so onerous and restrictive you don't even want to order from them anymore, it's nice to see Apple trying to offer more, not less, and shift the transactional burden off the customer where it never belonged.
Let's hope it works out for everyone because either way we're in for an interesting Black Friday and holiday shopping season.