Apple Reported To Be Dumping iPads As In-Store Smart Signs

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Photo: Macstories

The Apple-centric blog 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple’s impending store refresh will include a change in how it handles merchandising and product information.

“With this Apple Store refresh next week,” the blog reports, “Apple will be pulling these aging iPad 2s from most of its stores. Instead of Smart Signs, Apple will begin pre-loading price information and product details onto display iPhones, iPads, and Macs themselves. Apple will use the new space to install more devices that potential customers can test on the show floor. The recently launched iPad mini displays for the Apple Watch will not be going away. Apple will also showcase iPhones with redesigned white display docks.”

“Some larger Apple Stores will retain a few Smart Signs as Apple conducts this transition. Sources say that, beyond the desire to feature more products on store tables and to replace the aging iPad 2s, Apple is removing Smart Signs because it found that the setup is confusing for some customers. Retail employees note that some customers were unaware that the Smart Signs were simply informational items and became confused when they could not fully use the device as a demo iPad.”

Makes sense. I think tablets as smart, readily-updated fact tags make a ton of sense in places like wireless retailing, but it’s easy to imagine how people looking for an iPad would be confused by rows of iPads that didn’t do much.