Speculation around Apple’s May 22 retail meetings is running wild these days, and following reports of NFC-equipped tables, the return of the Back to School program and iPads being shipped to Apple Stores for retail specialist usage through RetailMe, 9to5mac is now reporting Apple’s retail plans for this weekend are much bigger than previously expected. According to the website, Apple has been busy working on a major Apple Store 2.0 launch, an internal name for what supposedly is a complete overhaul of the Apple Store experience that saw direct input by Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ive and Senior VP of Retail Ron Johnson.
Apple Store 2.0 is said to give more importance to Personal Setups, a new initiative launched by Apple a few months ago that allows users to be assisted with the purchase of a new Mac in the creation of a new iTunes account, first App Store run and Mac App Store purchases. Personal Setup is rumored to be relocated in new areas inside the Apple Store called Startup Sessions which, among other things, will feature interactive iPads for signage instead of paper. Whether or not these could be the same iPads AppleInsider is reporting on is unknown at this point. 9to5mac also posted more details of this alleged Apple Store 2.0 plan:
Next, these new Apple Stores – at least in some locations – will feature beefed up displays, which are described as “huge,” in addition to brand-new sound systems. Besides those in-store changes, Apple is set to release a brand-new Apple Store iOS application – possibly on Sunday – that is even more interactive. For example, a user with the app can walk into the store and the app will know which location the user is at. The app can even ask the user if they’d like to speak to a specialist, for example.
Details on the new Apple Store app are unclear, however, as the app was already updated months ago to include check-ins, as we reported, and the possibility to see a photo of the employee that will assist you was included, but apparently never effectively used by Apple. Perhaps the rumored Apple Store 2.0 experience will unlock more functionalities in the Apple Store app, and if so we’ll definitely know more on Sunday, May 22, after the retail meetings end.