There have been some fantastic Apple Store designs already, everything from the glass cube in New York to the glass cylinder in Shanghai, but some recent designs for a massive glass roof in Santa Monica, a redesign of the glass cube on 5th Ave., and a spectacular design for Grand Central Station -- not to mention the enormous new Mothership in Cupertino -- show that Apple's ready to take things to another level.
Apple already makes some of the best phone, tablet, and computer hardware in the word -- precision crafted aluminum and glass. Do they really have to push the envelope in architecture and retail design as well? No, but they want to. They could spend less on the stores. They could do less. But they consider it an investment. They believe it matters. That's what makes Apple, Apple. They're dragging us, sometimes kicking and screaming, into the future.
Now if I could just get them to build one of those giant glass tower Flasgships in Montreal's Old Port. Where would you want one?
Apple opened a handful of new Apple Stores today, none more amusingly placed than the one in Waterloo, Ontario, the hometown of BlackBerry maker RIM. Starting today, anyone in Waterloo who wants an iPhone rather than Bold, iPad rather than PlayBook can just wander on over. And according to @Steve_Gamble, they seem to be doing just that:
At the new Apple Store in Waterloo today. The number of Blackberries going dark is astounding!
Anyone else attending the opening of Apple in Waterloo? Any CrackBerry protests going? Let us know!
A couple of cheeky German guys decided to have a bit of fun this weekend by defacing the under construction Apple Store in Hamburg with a Windows logo.
Now before we get too upset by this, when we say deface it, it was more a bit of fun with no permanent lasting damage. Posing as a couple of construction workers, they climbed a ladder and pieced together a poor attempt at a Windows Logo.
In fact if you wanted to be really mean, you could say that this is an excellent deterrent to any would-be thieves! Take a look at the video after the break!
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.
Looks like Apple retail is getting new setups, including new iPad apps for their iPads, bringing their complement to Daily Download, RetailMe, Apple Connect, Apple Directory, Concierge, Mobile Genius, iRepair, and Easy Pay (the credit card processing app currently used on iPod touch).
Daily Download, which is a well-produced internal Daily ‘newspaper for employees’. It is incredibly stylish and functional and and much better than the previous web-based version that existed before.
It sounds like Apple really might be getting ready to upgrade their already stellar Apple Retail experience to version 2.0... just in time for their 10th anniversary. 9to5Mac thinks they have more details on just what the reboot might entail.
iTunes is taking donations for the Red Cross Japan earthquake and tsunami relief. Just log in and you can one-click contribute anywhere from $5 to $200 just as easily as buying a song, app or game. [iTunes link]