Apple to overhaul retail operations with iPads running new RetailMe software

“Apple stores have been receiving stockpiles of iPad 2 units with magnetic Smart Covers, as Apple is prepared to equip its retail specialists with tablets for on-the-job use,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“People familiar with Apple’s retail operations revealed that stores across the U.S. have been stocked with dozens of iPads that are being prepared for use by employees,” Hughes reports. “Training and utilization of the hardware could begin as soon as this weekend.”

Hughes reports, “In one location, nearly 40 iPads were supplied for a store with about 100 specialists. Based on those numbers, everyone working on any given day could be equipped with an iPad, perhaps in place of an iPod touch-based EasyPay terminal, which Apple stores switched to in 2009… AppleInsider first reported on Tuesday that changes at Apple’s retail stores set to begin this weekend will be “procedural” in nature, suggesting they will be related to the way the shops run or operate, rather than new products customers could buy.”

Read more in the full article here.

22 Comments

  1. While I’m sure it would look cool, I’m not sure how I would feel if I were an Apple Store employee and had to lug around an iPad for 8 hours. At least the iPod Touches they used to use clipped onto their belts. Unless they give their employees some type of sling to attach the iPads to their bodies somehow, there is no way these employees are going to be able to carry iPads around for 8 hours every day without getting some type of hand/wrist problems.

      1. You expect the Apple store employees to leave their Point-Of-Sale devices on the tables at the Apple store? They never leave their Point-Of-Sale iPod Touches just laying around on the tables for the customers to play with. Bad idea.

        1. [Lying] around on tables is not what he meant, I’m sure. Picture a sales guy with a small table. He can put the iPad down in order to use it. When he moves away, he would naturally take it with him.

    1. I had the same thought. How is switching from a small iPod Touch to an iPad that you have to carry all day a good idea?

      However, knowing Apple, this could be a misdirection to keep people off the trail of what they are really going to do for the Retail 10th anniversary.

      1. Agreed… I don’t see how giving iPad 2’s to it’s employess would require covering up the store fronts of all of the Apple stores. We have two stories that don’t mesh well together here today. Unless of course if this is happening, along with “one more thing”…..

    2. I would see no issue in perhaps providing employess something similar to a fanny pack, or some other kind of clothing that contains the iPad when not in use. “Problem” solved.

  2. well now we know what the “big” news about store staff meeting soon. They will be introduced and trained on the tablets for them to use to help customer. Period. Nothing more to see here. Sorry for the let down.

  3. definitely misdirection. Apple has been using the IPad and IPad2 in stores for a while now. I don’t think Apple would black curtain the store’s for something so inconsequential.

  4. RetailMe?

    Seriously?

    Who comes up with these names?

    Someone’s been hitting the sauce in Cupertino.

    Here’s one for hardware owners that get left behind: ScrewMe

  5. Uhm, they already use iPads in the stores. There’s one maitre’d type person at product launches that pre-checks you in, on an iPad. Sort of a super-concierge, like the check-in screen you see on the Macs in store. Get your genius appointment, one-to-one, etc.

  6. Maybe their 10th Anniversary gifts for the Store Employees, and not meant to be used in store …

    In order to be used in store, wouldn’t they need to be fitted with a credit card reader? I can’t imagine that bulk being added to the iPad2 in an effective way. Have you ever compared the EasyPay terminals to an iPod touch? They’re drastically bigger / heavier.

  7. I hate Apple Stores. They’re always overly crowded. Feels like a night club. They’re not comfortable at all. One major problem I see is how they put tables right there when you walk in. It’s always a clusterfuck, especially when they get new gear. Any kind of redesign is going to be welcome from my perspective.

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