Following the wild speculation and rumors from the last week as to whether Apple was planning a special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Retail, the so-called Apple Store 2.0 experience has launched in Australia (it's already Sunday morning there and Apple Stores are open), featuring what was previously reported: iPads are used to display product information and prices, compare features between different products and ask for a specialist's help. As you can see from the photo above, it appears the new store-specific application (we don't know yet if it's a native app, a web app, or something else) is used to lists features, compare, call for support and introduce new users to the Mac platform.
Website Mac Prices Australia has posted photos from the updated Apple retail experience:
Retail stores around Australia have launched ‘Retail 2.0′ to mark the 10th anniversary of Apple Retail stores. We knew this was coming but what exactly has happened?
iPads display product prices & information for products.
iPads display product features, prices and lets you compare between models.
Use the iPad to ask a specialist to to come to you.
Apple store staff appear to be wearing party hats.
We'll update this post with more information as they become available. If you live in Australia and have photos to send, our firstname.lastname@example.org inbox is waiting for your pictures.
Update: more photos from the Sydney Apple Store below.
We've just got a set of new photos from the Apple Store in Sydney. They show the iPads being placed next to each device and computer to display more information and offer product comparisons. We're also told clicking the Home button on these iPads does nothing, so it's not clear what kind of software they're running at the moment.
Another shot of the new interactive iPad displays:
ifoAppleStore reports there were no grand celebrations for the 10th anniversary of retail at the at the Tysons Corner (Virg.) store. The website says there were no TV cameras, no corporate executives to celenrate the event, though some acknowledgments were made to remark the importance of 10 years of retail presence -- with the company, however, willing to look forward, and not back.
The 20 or so store employees came outside briefly and took a group photo, and then went back inside to await the day’s opening. A few minutes later, the manager waved me inside early to tour the store and visit with employees, including Specialist John, the lone Day #1 employee still working at the store. The only visible indication of a celebration was a piece of birthday cake brought from back-of-house. At precisely 10 a.m., the doors opened and regular visitors began to arrive with the everyday problems and questions, make purchases—and the store’s staff began their workday.
Update #2: some new photos from our developer friends @glasshouseapps below:
Update #3: Boxes, balloons and chairs at the Apple Store in Covent Garden before the launch of the new retail experience:
Update #4: Video of the interactive iPad displays in action below. [via Mark Gurman]
Update #5: Another video from the Sydney Apple Store: (courtesy of @glasshouseapps)