updated 03:04 pm EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
Changes should impact physical, online worlds
Apple's new retail head, Angela Ahrendts, intends to make major changes to the company's operations, sources claim. One example is in China, where plans involve growing from 10 stores to 30 by 2016. That pace is unusually rapid, since the company typically adds no more than 30 or so locations worldwide in a year.
Perhaps more significantly, Ahrendts is said to be interested in overhauling the end-to-end experience, changing elements like product discovery, mobile payments, and interactions with clerks. Things like Personal Setup, phone support, and trade-ins may also be affected. In terms of mobile payments, Ahrendts is reportedly interested in "blurring the lines" between online and retail sales.
Since taking over earlier this month, Ahrendts is said to have reorganized her division's structure to suit her needs. VP of Retail Stores Steve Cano has been moved to international sales; Wendy Beckman and Denny Tuza, the leads for Europe and China, have been assigned new responsibilities. Bob Kupbens is a new staffer and in charge of online sales.
In April, news emerged that Apple was hiring executives for a mobile payment platform. It's thought that the company wants people to shop at retail using an iPhone and an iTunes account, much in the same manner that an Android user can make purchases via Google Wallet.