updated 12:30 pm EDT, Sat May 21, 2011
Apple Store iOS to get BTO Macs with overhaul
Last-minute hints overnight have given clues as to the revamped iPhone app as part of the Apple Store 2.0 overhaul. Tips had the app (when updated, App Store) getting the same custom ordering options as on the website, including both the actual hardware configurations as well as AppleCare, One to One appointments, and extras like printers. The MacRumors contacts didn't catch other details, but earlier slips had pointed to it letting users flag a store specialist and would be more aware of the user's location.
Currently, the app only lets users buy a stock configuration. Apple's plans suggest it now wants its app to be a much more complete reflection of its online store. An iPad version is less likely given that the store is much more easily navigated on the larger screen.
The Apple Store 2.0 project is expected to focus mostly on the store and could replace paper price signs with elaborate iPad displays, iPads for all active staff, and a greater emphasis on helping with first-time setup. A new RetailMe app for workers has also been leaked out as part of the overhaul.
Few computer builders have their own native apps for shopping and virtually none have full customization. Apple is helped by having a relatively narrow selection, but it may have an advantage over companies like Dell and HP by encouraging users to buy when beyond their computers.