Apple Retail

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]

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Apple retail getting updated iPad apps, about to deploy OS X Lion(?!)

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.

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Apple Retail Stores about to go 2.0?

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.

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Apple launching something big to coincide with 10th retail anniversary?

BGR's tipsters are telling them that Apple might be launching something big on May 19 to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Apple Retail Stores.

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Apple to sell Square credit card reader for iPhone, iPad

Square, the credit card reader for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, is now available online via Apple.com and will soon be available at Apple Retail locations as well.

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Donate to Japan earthquake and tsunami relief via iTunes

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]

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Apple denying retail store vacation time for CDMA Verizon iPhone launch?

Apple has issued a vacation time blackout period from the last week of January to the middle of February where retail employees without seniority won't be able to take time off, presumably to ensure employee coverage for the first major product launch of 2011. Could this be in preparation for a Verizon iPhone launch?

Apple is quietly prohibiting vacation days for some retail employees for three weeks beginning later this month, a move that could foreshadow a significant product introduction in the coming weeks.

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Apple Stores merry with FaceTime Santa displays

Adding to the endless Beatles loops and festive iPad snow globes, Apple Stores now have their very own FaceTime Santa in the windows, spreading Christmas cheer to boys, girls, families, elves, and Mrs. Clause alike.

I caught this one on video at my local Apple Store tonight. Have you seen FaceTime Santa at yours yet? Any idea how he explains to the kids that they can indeed have an iPhone 4 under the tree but they have to ask daddy and mommy to foot the bill for the monthly voice and data plans?

Ho. Ho. Ho.

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Apple Online teases Black Friday sales - Save$15 to $41 on iPod nano, iPod touch, iPad

Appe Online in the US has posted their once-a-year sale prices for Black Friday and as expected, iPad, iPod touch, and iPod nano as all being discounted. Come tomorrow you'll be able to save $15 on a brand new iPod nano, $21 on an iPod touch, and $41 on an iPad.

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Apple Store bedecked with giant iPad Snow Globe for the holidays

What says winter like an Apple Retail Store iPad snow globe, right? Complete with falling snow, curved glass, and recommended apps for just that holiday season. At my local Apple Store this new display just replaced the previous iPad on top of giant books and other desk accessories, while the poor old iPhone 4 display has been ousted in favor of giant cutout Beatles. Come on, we know where Steve Jobs' heart is this holiday, right?

There are also some changes inside, namely a new Express Store within the store, roped off and stocked up with iPad, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and gift cards. I wonder how long those will last after the Black Friday sales start tomorrow?

Pictures after the break.

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