iPads taking over: Apple to revamp the Genius Bar with iPads, drop the Macs

Typically when you walk up to the Genius Bar at your local Apple Store, you will be met with multiple Apple Geniuses with MacBook Pros in front of them. These MacBook Pros have been utilized to facilitate repairs, look up customer information, and order new parts. Starting early next week, in at least some Apple retail markets, the MacBook Pros will disappear in favor of… iPads. These iPads will vastly improve the customer experience and the overall flow of the Apple Retail Store. Read all about it after the break:

Apple Store Geniuses currently use these MacBook Pros to access a piece of software called GCRM. This software allows Apple Store Geniuses to see if a customer’s product is in warranty, what repairs can be done to it, the recent repairs done to the device, and what parts can be ordered for it. In addition, research can be done on these MacBook Pros on how to repair and repairs can be ordered through the laptops. Now, Apple is supplying Apple Stores with iPads that can mirror that functionality and replace the MacBook Pros.

Apple replacing the stationary MacBook Pros with iPads for Genius Bar functions is a major move that will not only make the Genius’ job easier, but provide a much better experience for Apple’s customers that are looking for repairs and/or help from the Genius Bar. The MacBook Pros are stationary so they cannot be moved from the Genius Bar. The iPads are portable, so the tablets can allow Geniuses to essentially help customers anywhere in the store. This would open up space at the Genius Bar and allow repairs to be facilitated much more quickly.

Due the size of MacBook Pros, Apple has been limited to fitting only a few the computers at Genius Bars. Typically, the Genius Bar can only service as many people as computers at one time at the Genius Bar. Now, due to the size and price of iPads, Apple could service more people at one time at the Genius Bar by installing multiple iPads. Apple fairly recently instated a system called MobileGenius which runs the iOS Diagnostic service I previously detailed. This service only works with iOS devices, while the new iPads should cover Macs and Apple’s other non-iOS products, too.

When a repair is scheduled or a device is replaced, Apple typically has customers sign a paper receipt. While this may not make its way to the initial launch of the new Genius Bar – which is a part of Apple’s “Apple Store 2.0” initiative – Apple’s retail software team is working on ways for customers to be able to sign their signatures on iPads, rather than on printed pieces of paper. Just like the iPod touch MobileGenius and EasyPay systems can do. Thanks JMFM and iDannyOcean

There’s more to come, so check back often for even more details.

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