Next week, Apple will debut a new element of Tim Cook’s plan to sell more iPhones direct from Apple Retail. The company, on Tuesday, July 23rd, will release an updated version of its Apple Store application for iPhone and iPod touch, according to a source with knowledge of the app. The new app has been redesigned to fit more in line with the user-interface of the App Store, iTunes Store, and iBookstore in iOS 6.
This slight interface change comes for a good reason: one of the main new features of the app is downloadable content. As you can see in the photo of the upcoming app update (to the right), the app will promote content from the three Apple content stores. This content normally costs money, but it will be available free for a limited time via this new app.
Apple, internally, positions this as a way to boost content sales as this new feature is designed to raise awareness about Apps, iTunes, and iBooks content.
Sources say that the new app update is also designed to go hand-in-hand with a new initiative in Apple Stores. When a new iOS Device is sold, Apple employees will be encouraged to install the new Apple Store app on the newly purchased device. According to comments from Tim Cook at last month’s secretive summit for Retail Leadership, only 20% of Apple customers are aware of the Apple Store app’s existence. This new plan will certainly increase that percentage.
In turn, more customers will be exposed to Apple’s direct sales channels. Indeed, sources say that it is no coincidence that the Apple Store app was recently updated with a push notification feature for when a user is eligible for an iPhone upgrade. Apple wants more users to install the Apple Store app so it can potentially sell them more hardware.