Who needs a staffer when you can scan, pay and walk out of the store unattended?
[UPDATE: The new version of the Apple Store app finally arrived Tuesday, Nov. 8, a few days later than expected. You can get it here.]
Apple (AAPL) has two problems its competitors would kill for: 1) It can't build new product fast enough to meet demand and 2) its stores are over-crowded with customers clamoring for attention.
On Thursday, according to several reports, it aims to address the second problem with a new version of its Apple Store app.
This free app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch has been around for some time but in its current incarnation it doesn't bring much to the party. You can search for products, read reviews and order an item for shipment or pick-up at an Apple Store. But when you get to the store you're thrown into the maelstrom with everybody else.
The new version, according to the Boy Genius Report, does a whole lot more:
Why is Apple doing any of this? Because building new stores is expensive. In the 10-K form it filed last week, the company has set aside $900 million for new retail outlets in fiscal 2012, nearly 9% of its $8 billion budget for capital expenditures.
The once-anonymous blogger is out now, with a logo, a PR agent and plans to build a brand
The shadowy figure who calls himself the Boy Genius racked up an impressive run of scoops -- internal AT&T (T) documents, pre-release access to nearly every BlackBerry, some big iPhone exclusives -- in the four years before he sold his brand to Jay Penske's Mail.com last April in a deal reported to be MOREPhilip Elmer-DeWitt - Jul 29, 2010 10:55 AM ET
|Boost for trade as global deal struck|
|Someone bought a $100,000 Tesla with Bitcoins|
|2 million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in massive hack|
|Where should you put your money now?|
|Ron Paul: Bitcoin could 'destroy the dollar'|