As early as next week in some Apple retail stores, iPads will replace the MacBook Pros that Apple Geniuses typically use to help solve customer issues. Revamping the Genius bar is part of the Apple Store 2.0 initiative that includes Easy Pay and in-store pickup options.
Giving Apple’s Geniuses iPads in lieu of MacBook Pros is expected to benefit store customers for a number of reasons. An iPad-wielding genius will no longer be tethered to the genius bar. Geniuses would be free to move about the store, helping any customer in need, while freeing up Genius Bar counter space, which is often at a premium, for repairs.
The iPad’s smaller size, as compared to the MacBook Pro should also allow Apple stores to outfit more employees with the tablet, which would lessen customer wait times for walk-in Genius Bar access. Although customers who follow Apple’s suggestion to make a Genius Bar appointment online in advance theoretically already shouldn’t have to wait, this change might ease congestion in stores during peak times such as the upcoming holiday shopping season.
Customers should still get the same level of customer service they have always received because Apple is going to outfit the Genius’ iPads with the same software, CGRM, that geniuses with MacPros currently use to check a customer’s warranty status, device repair history, as well as to check on which parts could be ordered for a device.