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Apple said swapping Genius Bar MacBook Pros with iPads

updated 11:30 pm EST, Sat November 12, 2011

Genius Bar iPads to allow for more nimble help

Apple is planning a significant revamp of the Genius Bar that could both reflect a changing of the guard and improve the experience for customers, a rumor late Saturday may have uncovered. Stores will supposedly replace the MacBook Pros with iPads, 9to5 understood, using an app equivalent to the GCRM repair management tool that they use now. The swap would let Geniuses move around the store to help diagnose systems anywhere in the store.

The switch would also have a significant impact on Apple's ability to handle its customer load as stores get extra customers, the unnamed source claimed. By fitting more iPads than it could MacBook Pros, Apple could have more Geniuses working at a time and cut back on the queues that have become a problem at some of the busier stores. Theoretically, it could allow for Geniuses who don't have a fixed place at the bar at all and could help with overflow.

A further rumor maintained that Apple might drop its requirement for printed receipts as part of repairs. Customers might instead sign on the Geniuses' iPads and again save some time and space.

All of the changes are believed to be the next part of a wider Apple Store makeover that began this spring with iPad product signage and new mobile apps. Combined with a self-checkout option in the US, Apple is taking advantage of iOS to speed up shoppers' trips to the store and give them more on-the-spot information than they could get before or at other stores.

Image by Electronista and MacNN

by MacNN Staff



  1. ElectroTech

    Joined: Dec 1969


    . . . but iPads aren't for productivity

    All the critics and pundits have been saying that the iPad can't do productivity or be useful in business. How can Apple even consider trying to use it when everyone says it can't be done?

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sounds like a good idea...

    if it means you don't have to wait like a herd of cattle until they come and find you when your appointment is ready. That's the one thing I don't like about the Genius Bar. Check-in is fine but then they send you over to one corner of the store near the Genius Bar where you have to stand around until they come and get you.

  1. facebook_Vera

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    that's not my experience

    last time I had to visit the Genius Bar, I was free to wander around the store until they paged me. all I had to do was check in when I arrived... the is the San Francisco downtown store - always crowded.

  1. slapppy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Smart move

    Using iPads for a busy place like the Apple Store and increase its capabilities. Meanwhile at the Microsoft Store, the employees are just twiddling their thumbs waiting for somebody to buy something! LOL

  1. henrycase

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Mechanics working in parking lots

    As a veteran "genius" who really likes his job, this is one of the dumbest ideas ever. Where are we supposed to set up a customer's computer so that we can work with the customer while they explain and reproduce their issue? Where are we going to keep our supply of cables, keyboards, boot drives, etc? the very tools of our trade?

    How am I supposed to type quality notes without a real keyboard? or reference the numerous back of house web sites and resources on which I rely?

    This is the equivalent of having auto mechanics work out in a parking lot, far from the (hopefully) well-equipped bays that have the tools and resources needed to perform their work.

    This is the second major step backward for Apple's retail tech support team (the first being the shift to midnight repair shifts - that's for another letter...).

    Comment buried. Show
  1. facebook_Jeffrey

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Nov 2011


    and we should care....

    why exactly?

  1. charlituna

    Joined: Dec 1969


    not planning

    they did it. Went live yesterday in all stores from the sounds of it.

    as for the naysayers from what I saw it worked just fine. I guess the geniuses at the store I was in have freak hands that are just fine typing on an iPad cause they seemed to have no problems. Same with spreading out, coming around to the customer side of the bar etc.

    In fact I ponder of the folks that don't like this idea are more upset about the notion they have to actually stand near the customers and can't hide behind the counter anymore than the tools they are using

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