Apple tests new Genius Bar configuration to increase capacity

“In reaction to an ever-increasing number of visitors to its Genius Bars and limited space to seat them, Apple is testing out a new configuration that increases Genius Bar capacity, and emphasizes the use of iPads to manage service records,” Gary Allen reports for ifoAppleStore.

“The designers’ solution to Genius Bar crowds was to pivot the GB table by 90-degrees so that it’s perpendicular to the rear wall of the store, and to eliminate the iconic kids seats and tables,” Allen reports. “A photo of the new set-up has surfaced showing a tall, 10-foot long wood counter at the rear of a store, with black stools on both sides. The table is set about 15 inches out from the rear wall of the store to allow employees to move from one side to another.”

Allen reports, “This new 90-degree Genius Bar turn solution would be particularly effective at narrow stores where there is limited room for seated customers. The improvement seems to come at the expense of the very popular kids area, with its round, black seats and iPads loaded with children’s software. It’s not clear if this design change will be rolled out to other stores or if it’s simply being tested at this specific store.”

Read more and see the photo in the full article here.

21 Comments

  1. A domestic “situation” was inadvertently escalated into a full blown act of violence against a defenseless iPad in one of our local stores on Saturday night. It two confirmed bachelors were having some sort of spat. One of the partners was vocal about his unhappiness with the amount of time they were having to wait at the Apple store to “have this fucking pice of shit iPad looked at.” When his outrage peaked, he grabbed the poor iPad (an innocent bystander in all of this mind you) and literally threw it to the ground.

    The iPad survived with no discernible damage, and it still worked, but the gentleman who committed the egregious act was escorted out of the store by management personnel. Perhaps this isn’t an isolated incident.

    1. New phenomenon? Genius Bar rage? Similar to Road Rage, Post Office Line Rage, DMV Line Rage, or Supermarket Checkout Line Waiting Forever For Fat Welfare Recipient Obtaining Price Check On Bag of Pork Rinds Rage?

  2. ‘but the gentleman who committed the egregious act was escorted out of the store by management personnel.

    Why are fools/criminals’ referred to as ‘gentlemen?”

    A–holes would be more fitting.

  3. Thats setup that’s been in place at one the stores in Milwaukee for quite some time now. Except there are no longer any chairs.

    I went in two weeks ago, with an appointment, to have my still under warranty iPod swapped out due to home button issues. It’s the first I walked out with a bad taste in my mouth. A guy with an iPad was supposedly checking people in to the GB. He never approached me in the 5 minutes I was standing there looking bored. I approached him after I spoke with a 60 something woman waiting to be checked in who also had not been approached. The bar and store were not extremely busy and we were the only two people waiting in the area at 7:30pm.

    When I finally got to the bar (20 minutes late due to a backlog) a middle aged woman attempted to handle my problem. She could duplicate the issue 1 out of every 5 times but that wasn’t enough for her to replace it even though 2 other family members only had to mention the issue and it was an automatic replacement. She was so inexperienced that when she accidentally touched the iPad icon (from which she handling the ticket) for emoticons she was not only clueless as to how to get rid of that keyboard without backing out of text entry completely but also didn’t even know they were.

    I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. I’ve never had an even remotely unpleasant experience at an Apple Store. We’ll see when I go back later this week for the same problem.

  4. and glad that he hasn’t got a gun with him… or he has already been very behaved for not pulling it out and shoot around for not being taking care of.

  5. I have been in two Apple stores on a number of occasions with my 3 year old and the kids tables were the ONLY reason I could complete my business there, long waits, seemingly pointless members of staff doing nothing, made the kids area a true blessing. I will not even attempt it now knowing they are no longer there. Sounds like the accountants are getting their way…. “does it earn a buck? …. Nope… Scrap it” the experience is being killed in favor of the promise of more profit. It was nice knowing you Apple. Your becoming just another big company…sad, very sad.

    1. Or maybe it’s a sign that Apple is trying to resolve the problem of long waits? Why take a single-store test (by the account of the reporter) and extrapolate it to the entire management philosophy of Apple?

    2. Sounds like the accountants are getting their way…. “does it earn a buck? …. Nope… Scrap it”

      Your theory doesn’t sound very plausible. Last time I looked, the Genius Bar doesn’t charge customers for the service, so it’s a cost rather than an earner, but the accountants don’t seem to be closing down the Genius Bars.

    3. If Apple providing a free daycare service for your kid is the ONLY reason you do business there, then likely Apple won’t miss you either.

      Buh Bye

    4. The small Apple Store an hour from me in a big Mall has never had room for any kids area. The store is always packed with people like a can of Sardines, they could use a bigger store there.

  6. The significant increase in problems that people are having with ALL their Apple devices is overwhelming the Genius Bar at Apple Stores across the world. Here’s an iCal for you, MDN: Genius Bars will DISAPPEAR altogether within the next 24 months – overwhelmed, they had to give up. VERY MUCH LIKE Apple Care via the telephone – first line “help” is pretty much now limited to someone asking you if your device is plugged in – anything more and you will need somebody who actually knows more than you do about your device/software that isn’t working.

  7. I was at an Apple store yesterday afternoon to shop for accessories. The kid area was an absolute godsend because the store was jam packed, with not enough staff to handle the crush of shoppers.

    Waiting around in a crowded store with people scurrying everywhere is a meltdown waiting to happen with a 5-year old in tow. But, the kid table kept my daughter occupied … and gave her ideas for new apps to request that daddy buy for her when we got home.

    Yes, the entire Apple store is interesting to a child. But, to them there’s something special about a table that’s THEIR size with iPads running THEIR apps. Removing that area would be very short-sighted given how children can influence purchases (whether it’s telling mom and dad how they “need” an iPad, or if the family already has one, how they “need” that cool app they just played with), and how much sanity it saves for the parents.

  8. The Apple store in the Stonestown Mall in San Francisco removed the children’s table and stools with the IMacs about two years ago. The store is busier than ever, the employees still provide superb service, and the kids play with the display IPads.

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