Apple Store 2.0 is here, iPad take-over begins! [Updated with video]

Australia, being in the future, has just seen the debut of Apple Store 2.0, the recently rumored reboot that adds interactive iPads, among other things, to the retail experience. Talk about putting your tech where your money is.

Want to learn more about that MacBook Pro or iMac? Hit up the iPad next to it for feature specs, comparisons, explanations for those new to Apple, technical support, or summon an Apple specialist for additional help at the touch of a button. (I'm figuring the staff disables that little prank-in-the-waiting by end of business day 1).

As the rising sun hits more and more regions, we're hoping to learn more about the new Apple Retail, so if you spot anything at your local store, let us know!

My only question - do the iPads have interactive iPads to explain what you can do with the iPads, on iPads?

Update: Apparently, the iPads are encased in Carbonite tough, clear plastic.

Update 2: Video, see above.

Update 3: Apple sent a note along to employees, read it after the break. [9to5Mac]

Update 4: Just got back from checking out the new store displays. The app powering the iPads is very slick, with great animated popups (Pixar would be proud) that allow for very clean initial info pages with lots of additional details (like pricing) that can be access with a tap. Apparently Apple has more planned for this app as well, and being able to update both the app, as well as prices, specs, etc. without having to reprint paper every time is no doubt one of the motivators for this new system.

The plastic encasings are perfectly fit and pretty much weld the iPads to the table so you can't move them around. There's a proprietary connector (not the usual dock cable) powering the iPads. It's almost impossible to see. the Home buttons are disabled so you can't exit out of the display app.

There are also beautifully crafted new product identifiers in the center of the tables for iPad, iPod, iPhone, etc. Typically Apple, they're understated, elegant, and do just what they need to do without being fussy about it. (Jonathan Ive's insistence on design getting out of the way, no doubt.) Photos after the break.

[9to5Mac video courtesy of Glasshouse Apps]

Apple Store 2.0 launches, iPad take-over begins!

[gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, ZEN and TECH, MacBreak Weekly. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter,, Google+.

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There are 61 comments. Add yours.

Jawcl says:

Epic, this will be very cool.

Anthony says:

to the last sentence no, they use ipods duh :P

eahinrichsen says:

Yo dawg, I heard you like touchscreens, so we put an iPad in your iPad so you can touch while you touch.

Vanya says:

Damn, makes me want to go to a shopping centre now...

kmichalec says:

Really??? That's it? All this "secret meetings", "non disclosure agreements", "something huge is coming" BS, and this is all it is? FAIL....About as "non-event" as the supposed rapture that never happened.
Come on peope. Don't believe this is a big deal just cause Apple tells you it's supposed to be. Think for yourself...

mark says:

"Don’t believe this is a big deal just cause Apple tells you it’s supposed to be. Think for yourself…"
@kevin: um, exactly when did apple tell us this was supposed to be a big deal?
answer: they didn't. pointless rant.

Sebastian velez says:

@mark.. Previous posts made it seem like something "big" was coming.... Then in reality it was just interactive iPads.... They already had interactive devices but I guess now we have more iPads to stare at then lil plaque cards.... Way to go apple for 10years to replace simple cards with iPads... Theyre still pretty cool... But this coulda been achieved sooner...

Jason says:

Yea dude. I agree with you. What a let down lol. I was expecting something huge from the way it was being put out there. Of course I think most of it was just blogs hyping it up. I haven't heard much from apple. Although why they would go to the extent that they did kinda makes me wonder. But whatever.

Sebastian velez says:

@Jason.... Apple is famous for getting our hopes up with "WISHFUL THINKING" then again I learned to never get my hopes up too high with apple cuz they know they can cut corners and we will still buy the product... So... They coulda tomes down the hype to a "simple revamp" to the apple stores... But they made it seem like the iPhone 5 was gonna have a surprise launch or something lol.... That woulda been hardcore wishful thinking

Jason says:

I agree. But I see why they do it. It keeps the surprise up. I dont mind it. It seems like it's working out for them. But I just wanted something else awesome to spend my money on haha

Limegrntaln says:

I was looking forward to the rapture, this planet had become so egotistical and self centered. People forget what we are here for, and all they care about is someone owing them something. "That's all we get?" amazing.

FLskydiver says:

I was looking forward to the Rapture too. Unfortunately all of you are still here.

Gato says:

There is an app for that.

iSRS says:

How is this a fail? Did Apple itself send out anything about this? Or did it just do what every other retail channel does for an overhaul of it's stores? I worked retail in High School. Guess what? When we were completely doing our in store marketing over? We were all notified in advance that we had to be in early Sunday morning (since this is the day the Mall opens the latest) and some of us had to work the overnight Saturday night to prepare/change the store out.
It is "news" of this that artificially set your expectations. Did you think Apple would be announcing a new product on a Sunday? Really? The only fail here is that your self set expectations were not met. Apple didn't send me an email a day saying "Hold on to your hat, Sunday is going to be MAGICAL"

kmichalec says:

Did you have to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement when your stores you worked at did their makeover? Doubt it. "Ooohhhh! Merry-Go-Round is replacing their prior years Z.Cavarichi's with the new new years line!" (props to those that recognized those names)

Jason says:

It's also none of our business to know that they had to sign the nda. We have the right to be let down yes, but to say apple failed? If anything the won. They created a buzz that got them advertising and got their name out there more. Blame the blogs. It's not like apple put up anywhere one their website, our employees have to sign a nda for Saturday night or whatever.

kmichalec says:

Wait a sec, Jason. At first you said that it wasn't Apple that generated the buzz. Now you are saying it was them, and the blogs followed along. Make up your mind, mate. Sorry if it bothers you that I think it's a fail, but I do, cause in my mind it is. They purposely generate hype to get everyone all excited. It what they do, and their damn good at it. But, if they keep using that tactic everytime, people are going to start getting tired of it (as I am). But it's the chance they take every time they claim that something magical is coming (aka The sky is falling). Eventually, people will stop believing them. (at least once people wake up, that is).

Apple Employee says:

This does not make me want to wake up at 5am to go to the meeting... FAIL

parabel says:

All shops are closed here on sundays :D

impaler says:

The retail experience is so amazing at the local mall, I love it. I'd rather buy Apple products at a Apple retail store than a Best Buy or AT&T/Verizon store any day. The experience is second to none. This can only make it better. Looking forward to seeing it for myself this next week. I happen to be off mid-week, so I can hit the mall when most others are working--and the crowd is less insane.

BrianTufo says:

I love Apple Retail Stores but how does this make anything better? It's an app to inform you about a computer so now there can be even less human interaction? If you want no interaction look on google for answers to your questions and buy online. Come on people talk to another person!

juanaguilar_45 says:

an ipad within ipad within ipad.... simulation

DewDuck says:

So an ipad is taking the place of an actual person who can tell us about the wait! We can call for an actual person to tell us about the device, we obviously know enough about to use, in order to call the actual person. I must be confused, can someone please help me figure out how to type for myself.
Who buys into this crap?

FLskydiver says:

I'm pretty sure the old fashioned way (walking up, introducing yourself, ask for help) will still work too. Unless the redesign now has the Apple Store employees hiding in the stockroom till summoned.

Damitol says:

What's with the haters? I don't remember anyone promising rainbows and unicorns - just Apple spiffing up the retail stores to celebrate the anniversary of the - wait for it - retail stores! How can making the retail experience more fun and interesting be a "fail"? I go to Best Buy and get a card with 5 or 6 features listed. I go to Walmart and if I'm lucky, I get a price tag. I go to the Apple Store and get ( I'm assuming) well made interactive demos based on the depth of info I personally want.
Where's the "fail" in that? Or were you one of those who thought Apple was secretly going to surprise us with new hardware and OSes without any prior notice? Sorry that Rapture Weekend was such a dissapointment for you all around. No fire and brimstone. No iPad 3. No clue how the real world works.

KP says:

Finally ... a reasonable opinion!

Samyuel says:

@Kevin Self hype made by people as always. So what, you going to blame Google for everyone getting excited about the secret event Sprint had a few months back that ended in disappointment by the Kyocera Echo?
No ones saying or controlling anyone.
Any individual blindly following a corporate entity is a fool themselves. Instead you want to look at what benefits you or yourself and a group and exactly what product wether a Google, Apple, HP, or a Toyota(lawl). Pick what you like the best . Brand loyalty stifles competition.
Kevin you might think your beyond an "isheep." But your still a tool all the same. And so is everyone else including me. But hey, end of the day any small business can become a hulking entity.

iPhoneRN says:

Why don't we wait till we see what happens here in north america. Maybe there are some things that are regional!

PinkFriday says:

So will there be a iPad next to an iPad telling what it is?

Ron says:

Too difficult to put the features and specs on the MacBook itself? Sounds slighty stupid to me.

tom says:

did apple really have to go with non disclosure agreements for this? iPads that tell you how a MacBook works?

NewbornFugur says:

I agree with what Morgan Stephens says above, the blog posts are where all the hype came from, I do not recall Apple advertising this. So we hear about Apple working on something that is not advertised and apparently is an operational exercise, when it is launched we all get upset because it is not a spectacular release with something new for us to buy or use. How is it a Fail when it was not even a product launch. This was an improvement for the retail stores, more a less kind of a refit. All Apple did was to deploy some technology instead of the standard media (such as banners, displays, and data sheets) that would typically be found next to technology products. We all have been to stores such that have the same only tech spec's written on a small card next to the device on display, some places have posters or other graphical enticements, once in a while you will actually see a monitor with a short video playing. This is far better for the person who is new to Apple products and walks into a store for their first purchase. They will get an interactive experience and who knows how far Apple will take this, these displays may be able to tell you what the store has in stock if all the staff are busy (for those days such as holidays when the stores are packed), they may let you order right there on the spot if the store is out of stock, there are also (believe it or not) people who are not connected to the net and have no computer at home, you hear the stories all the time, (got my mom an i-Pad so she can see her grandkids via FaceTime, and such) this type of display would be an excellent intro for those who are not tech savvy and for those who are shy and do not like to have a sales person watching over them. Obviously most of us who are on Tipb are Apple users, the initial value of this will probably be for those who walk in the stores and are not either sure if an Apple product is for them or are new to the Apple eco system.

taharka says:

I agree with you. What's funny is my mom is one of those people you mentioned and I'm getting her an iPad precisely so at she can chat with the grandkids via FaceTime (though she'll use it for light surfing, emails and Netflix as well).

Lpxerodin says:

What happens when you press the home button... Or can't you?

Andrew says:

Nothing happens, the home button is disabled.

TK says:

Is that really necessary? All the computers in their store are internet capable so why not have a browser open to the Apple Store page for the product?
Also this isn't new, Best Buy does the same, not with iPads but they have something like an interactive screensaver for their display computers that does what Apple did with their iPads.
This seems like a subtle push for iPads, like telling people, "Look what else the iPad can do, buy one!"

TK says:

I'm not hating on Apple for this move, it's pretty cool, but even cool things can be pointless.

slalomskie says:

Could they have just put that demonstration on the iMac instead of using a separate device? Or does the iMac not play videos?

Carioca32 says:

Didn´t see the big deal of the Apple store before, too much pretense for my taste, I see even less now, with people spending more time at each station because they have to navigate a multimedia presentation instead of using the damn device.

maclovn says: do have the option to use the "damn device". What this gives is options. The iPad is there for people who find it convenient. And if u dont need the interactive feature option u can directly ask for a specialist. Apple is giving u options of how u want your store experience

Obstreperouss99 says:

I am not impressed with this at all. I dont really see the big deal. Its funny how many people are having a hard time getting iPads and Apple just uses the inventory to make these displays

dennis says:

Might as well use a self serve credit card machine on the ipad to do transactions, pretty decent innovation by apple imo, but nothing special here imho, even McDonald's have self serve ordering machine

TFausett says:

Its not pointless at all. Apple is a environmental company we all know this and by doing this they get away from printing up paper every time they upgrade the devices. All they do is just update the software and by doing this they make it more interactive to consumers and will probably help u understand better on what you're buying. I think this is great and will only help the Apple store experience better. Yes I agree this was a little bit to much hype for it just being about interactive iPads next to the products, so hopefully there is more to this Apple Store 2.0 experience then just the iPads and only time will tell. Also are they first or second generation iPads?

Carioca32 says:

Really? All the paper used in the US comes from sustainable sources, so you really think that an iPad, with produces a ton of toxic waste to produce and requires a LOT of non-renewable materials and energy to operate is better for the environment than a printed sheet of paper?

chirmer says:

To start, it will obviously be more than one piece of paper, as when products and specs change, you have to update your display information. This makes updating that information MUCH simpler. Also, prove that ALL of the paper in the US is from sustainable sources. I doubt you can. Plus, some people just hate that we still kill tons of trees, despite all of the recycled paper, to meet our needs, and appreciate Apple trying to make that burden less. We have the option to kill fewer trees with the advent of technology, and some people like that. Just because you don't doesn't mean you have to be rude and condescending about it, man.

OmariJames says:

I dont understand why they use the newest iPads ... they could of used the iPad 1 that they never sold. If it's a problem with the speed I'm pretty sure to do those simple tasks like compare two macbook pros you dont need an A5 processor. So every year they're gonna use the newest models ? hmm Kind of a waste to me.

chirmer says:

Wow, some people posting are not using the brains they claim to have. Let's spell it out, shall we?
They use iPads as opposed to the actual device so you can actually test out the device. You know, open the browser, try out different things. How can you do that if you're stuck in an interactive information display? Would you rather just stare at a product before buying it? Or actually use it? Common sense.
It also cuts down on paper. So, you're using the latest model of iPad, your own product, to cut down on paper consumption. This also advertises your own product. It's called a successful business model.
Maybe you guys should think before you post and trash things you obviously don't understand...

Carioca32 says:

Oh yes, of course, so you stand between the two devices, and with one hand you operate the iPad and read about the computer, and with the other hand you operate the computer and browse the web. Sure, it makes perfect sense now.

chirmer says:

You must have missed it where they clearly say the iPad is stuck to the table. So, you play with the device you're interested, while the iPad CAN (as in, not mandatory) guide you through the product, or give you more options.
Do people read these days?

sangs says:

Guess I'm just not Apple enough, because this "change" couldn't be any less exciting. The way the bloggers were panting & pacing, this is like waking up on Christmas to a pair of slippers. Yawn.

Matt K says:

I'm sorry, but I've got to agree with the, "So what's the big deal?" crowd. This is very, verzzzz zzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzz ....huh? Did I fall asleep again? What was I saying?

dloveprod says:

Is it available for download yet?

Morgan Ryzen says:

OK -Wonder if this is an application that other retail outlets could use? Sounds like a good way to sell a bunch of iPads (or any tablet as far as that goes) to retailers along with customized software to display the appropriate information. This could really be a big deal in the retail space (yea, it could flop, time will tell).

applejosh says:

I'm not excited about this change, either. Seems to be a case of the media, etc., over-hyping what is just an evolution of retail. Not revolutionary by any stretch. Sure, it does help tout one of their existing products by using it to showcase other products, but I really think way too much hype and coverage went into what is, at least in my eyes, a subtle change. (Kind of like every time an AppStore goes down for maintenance.)

DaMoose says:

The real question: iPad 1, or iPad 2?

Carioca32 says:

I have a question, with all the hoopla about Apple design this and that, why are all those unseemly white cables running all over the place? Why not a small hole behind each iPad?

norman bautista says:

Apple 2.0 iYawn. This level of hype followed by this low a delivery would at any other retailer be called into serious question. Same old same old.

pure talent says:

Welcome to my world, people. As I've said before, I live and work in one of Episcopalia's American meccas, and I have to deal with this crap all the time, as in People with collars who say that the killingof the innocent can sometimes be a GOOD, even HOLY thing.