Apple Store 2.0 Debut
The new Apple Store 2.0 debut Sunday, and with it many of the leaked changes were confirmed.
Product displays are now interactive iPads referred to as "Smart Signs." The Smart Signs display product prices, information, and features. Customers can compare models, and more importantly ask for help from a specialist all from the Smart Signs. Instead of waiting around for a specialist, the customer can request help from the iPad itself and a specialist will make their way over to the table as soon as possible. The new queue system even shows users what place in the queue they are.
The new iPads run a custom software overtop iOS, which has the home button disabled. This prevents customers from exiting out of the demo software. However, there has been confirmation that using a series of gestures unlocks the demo software. This poses a problem though, with a disabled home button there is no ability to exit an app. Also, depending on the product being displayed, the custom software changes as well. The iPhone Smart Signs allow users to select the carrier and rate plan to see what it would cost to own the device.
Also, the display iPads use a custom made, extremely thin ribbon cable to connect to the iPad's dock connector. It appears this is how the iPads are charge, and sound an alarm if the demo units are moved.
Also, it appears a number of the Pioneer televisions that were used as larger in-store displays have been replaced. The older Pioner televisions were given to one luck employee at each Apple Store (jealous).