Apple revolutionized retail shopping when it opened up its first brick and mortar store back in 2001, and it’s about to do it all over again — using an iOS app. The Cupertino company will reportedly issue a major update to its Apple Store app for iOS devices this Thursday that will change the way you buy Apple products forever.
According to a Boy Genius Report that cites a “trusted source,” Apple will launch a new Apple Store app for iOS on Thursday that will offer two major features: First, it will introduce online ordering with retail store collection. This is a service that has already been available at some San Francisco and New York Apple stores for over a week, but even more stores will be supporting the service later this week, it is claimed.
When you order an Apple product online, you can pick it up in-store after 12 minutes of making your order, providing it’s in stock. That gives the order enough time to make its way through Apple’s system, and the store enough time to prepare your item. All you have to do is go in and sign for it.
For items that aren’t in stock, you be given a pick-up date after your order is complete and you’ll be sent a Push Notification when it’s ready to be collected. Those that order online will, apparently, be given priority in Apple stores over those waiting to see a specialist, according to the report.
What’s more, orders made online can finally be returned to a retail store if necessary, and no longer have to be sent back by courier.
The second feature, however, is quite possibly the most exciting; the new app will allow you to self-checkout at Apple retail stores. “This is a huge deal and Apple is the first to be able to put it together,” the report notes. We all know how busy Apple Stores can get, and how long you can be waiting for a member of staff to purchase a product, that will no longer be the case.
When you find a product you’d like to purchase in the Apple Store, you can simply load up the new iOS app and select the option that allows you to buy a product in-store, then scan its barcode using your iPhone or iPod touch’s camera. You can then tap purchase, and the item will be charged to the credit card linked up to your Apple ID.
Once you’ve made your purchase on your device, you’re free to walk out of the store, according to the report. However, it’s a little unclear how Apple will monitor this. The source of this information claims purchases will not be checked, but there are all sorts of obvious issues that will arise with this, and even the report finds it a little hard to believe.
Hilariously, 9to5Mac claims this new system is being referred to internally as “EasyTheft”, a gag at the expense of Apple’s EasyPay system. Let’s hope EasyTheft doesn’t turn out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.