IFOAppleStore got its hands on a photo of a new Genius Bar that ditches the traditional desk in the back and moves to a 10-foot long table perpendicular to the back wall with more seats. The design does not look to be rolled out to many stores, but rather looks like the Apple retail staff is testing it.
For those unfamiliar, the Genius Bar is the section of the Apple store where “Geniuses” assist customers with new purchases, training, and broken items. The old design featured the ability to seat seven customers. The new design allows 12 to be seated, which is a 71 percent increase. All wires and connectors are stored underneath the table, while the Geniuses’ equipment is available in the drawers on the back wall. As we first reported earlier this year, Geniuses recently moved from using MacBook Pros at the desk to using iPads instead. We can see how the move will work much better with the new table design.
The above photo certainly looks like a concept photo, but Gary Allen of IFOAppleStore noted he has heard the new table is being used in at least a few stores (he is working to find their locations). We cannot tell if this setup will make an appearance in every Apple Store across the world (doubt it), but it could be very useful in narrower stores. The new design looks to get rid of the kids’ area that recently ditched iMacs for iPads to get young-ones hooked to the touch experience early, which does not seem like a perk Apple would want to get rid of everywhere.
It is an interesting approach to serve customers in a little better capacity. It may not work everywhere, but it certainly could in cramped locations. The new design would not be practical in, for instance, the Fifth Avenue Store. Its current Genius Bar can seat up to 15 customers at a time and already has a nice niche in the back of the store. Is anyone’s local store moving over to the new desk? Let us know!
Apple’s been using two-sided tables for a while, mostly with Personal Setup. This new two-sided Genius Bar will be a limited roll out, obviously, given the small percentage of smaller stores. (image)
A shot of the desk in the back of the store: