Apple Retail Stores replace iMacs with iPads for kids

Apple Stores replace iMacs with iPads for kids

Apple Retail Stores have replaced the iMacs that traditional served as their "kid's table" with iPads. The tables, which had previously been decked out with a quartet of iMacs, now sport 4 iPads instead.

Like the previous iMacs, which were set up with educational and game programs, the iPads had a variety of child-friendly apps. I'm not sure exactly when this happened, but I noticed it for the first time today when I visited my local store to pick up a repaired Mac. My 3 years godson, who was with me, took only a couple of moments to adjust. He launched a book app and began playing, just as he does at home. It was much easier for him to find an app and use the iPad than it had ever been to handle the iMac and mouse, so that was a huge win.

I'll miss seeing those big screens around the kids table, but iPads are clearly Apple's future, and nothing makes that clearer than how they're deploying them for future generations of Apple customers.

Apple previously replaced in-store display cards with interactive iPads, and replaced the MacBook Pro computers at the Genius Bar with iPads. Apple Store concierges also use iPads to handle appointments.

There's no sign yet that they'll start replacing the actual Geniuses (or other staff) with iPads... but it can't be long now, can it?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Apple Retail Stores replace iMacs with iPads for kids


Yay! Now there will be even more kids begging and bribing their parents for iPads. Seriously, though, good move by Apple. It really is an awesome device for a kid (as long as they don't break it).

Excellent call! I couldn't agree more! :) I wish all people that bought Apple products were as mindful, they're expensive to fix, it's worth insuring!

This is such a tired comment, if you realisticly price out what you get for your money thier is little to no differance in price. Competitors to this day still can not compete with the iPad on quality and price.

Apple products do seem expensive, however, if people are lining up to buy them, economics says they are priced too low.

Everything apples sells is overpriced. But people keep buying them so don't expect it to happen anytime soon.

Apple is closing in on half a billion customers, we're waaaaaaaay beyond the 'Apple fanatics' or 'marketing'. Get over it. People are choosing Apple because the products are good and deliver value. So what if you don't agree. Good for you. You're in the minority.

Overpriced? Four years ago, if you had appeared on the White House lawn with one of these, you would have been treated like an emissary from an alien planet. (slight exaggeration) Remember, when we first landed on the moon, the sum total of all of NASA's computing power was less than one of these. (no exaggeration!)
Overpriced? Compare it to:
What you spend on coffee in a year
What you spend on soda in a year
What you spend on cigarettes in a year
What you spend on gasoline in three months
What a New Englander spends on oil heat in just December-February
What you spend on parking in one month if you live in an urban area
And I could go on... buy any prescription medicine lately?

Overpriced? You get what you pay for. If you enjoy paying $399 for a new computer every year to ahead.

Over priced in terms of hardware maybe but what you're really paying for is the software; the experience. The whole experience is woven together and integrated, that is what you're really paying for.

Nice! Get the kids hooked early, It's too late for mine, they're already hooked.
I hardly think they're overpriced, I bought a G5 Tower 10 years ago and only now does it need replacing, can't say as much for my friends who went through 4 PC machines in that time. Same can be said for the iPad, we have a 1st generation and the thing still keeps rolling along and taking a beating from the kids, whereas my friends have already switched from a kindle, to a playbook, to a samsung in the same time frame. Say what you will, the Apple ecosystem is still by far the simplest, sure the upfront is more expensive but in the long term it works out.

The author (Rene Ritchie,) is from Montreal (Quebec), Canada. "Enfants" is indeed the French word for "Children".

Also I noticed something I've never seen before is that the USB cables they use have a padlock symbol on them that represents some locking pin inside that keeps it from getting disconnected from the iPad. Since this is the only cable connected to the iPad, it's also a security device. So power & security all in one. I wonder how strong they are and where I could get one.
Also the iPads use some sort of jail-breaking app that keeps all the important stuff out of reach, like the "settings" and such.

It's called "iPCU" the iPhone Configuration Utility. You can make really unique operational parameters, way more granular than the Parental Controls.
'a jailbreaking app', Apple? You've got to be kidding me.
Oh and iPCU is a free download from Apple.

FWIW, when I went into the store here in Montreal (St. Catherine street), the table was empty. Place was full, nobody at the kids table...

I was skeptical of the iPad when introduced. But after spending a few minutes on my wife's iPad 2, I finally got it. It's far more than a big iPhone. The extended gestures alone, make me feel like I have leapt into the future.
iPads are on the top of kids' Christmas lists, for a reason.

I think a mix of computers (probably iMacs) and iPads would be better at the kids' table. They need to learn to use both.

That is great because kids master iOS really quickly, and the minority of kids who want to go on to program or do pro graphics or pro music can easily add a Mac later. The Mac is an iPad accessory now — a way to open up the "back" of the iPad and develop apps, music, movies, books for it — and it has never been better. The Mac used to be a laser printer accessory and then a Web browser accessory. Developing now for what is basically another Mac but with instant everything and no visible pixels and easy 1-click payments and easy updates is squaring the circle.
And these kids apps come alive when they move from Mac to iPad. Suddenly there are 10 fingers instead of 1, and direct manipulation of objects. Really great apps, really empowering kids.

and the minority of kids who want to go on to program or do pro graphics or pro music can easily add a Mac later

No need. Those kids can go on to program, pro graphics, or pro music RIGHT on the iPad NOW. Just install Codea (Lua IDE for iPad, also check for Cargo-Bot; a game made entirely using Codea on iPad), Brushes, and GarageBand are advance enough yet still easy to use for those kids. My 8 y.o kid is the proof! :)

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Nice post. On replacing the staff with iPads, Apple has been doing this for awhile by using iPads instead of paper signs by each and every product :) Or maybe they are just trying to free up staff to deliver even more awesome service in the shop.

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