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Summary:

Apple introduced a new store app where customers can browse, buy or make in-store appointments, but it’s only for Apple devices. That’s by design and it gives Apple another feature for its iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices: 100 million new mobile retail points of presence.

Apple today introduced free Apple Store software for iPads, iPod touches and iPhones that enables customers to shop the retailer directly from the mobile devices. The new application supports browsing and shopping for Apple wares complete with user reviews and detailed product specifications, much like Apple’s retail website. Customers can also create appointments for in-store services such as Personal Shopping, Genius Bar or One-on-One training.

Up to now, one could always shop the Apple Store or make in-store appointments through a web browser, so in that regards, the software isn’t adding any new functionality. But Apple’s retail web channel can be clunky in a small browser window, and clunky doesn’t sell hardware or software. Apple products and shopping are as much about the experience as they are about performance and features.

Apple could have created a mobile web version of its store, but by building a clean mobile storefront for use only on its own devices, it’s furthering the “halo effect” it already enjoys. And that effect can further influence owners of the 100 million iOS4 devices Apple says it’s sold — it’s like 100 million little mobile retail stores were just opened.

Two things jump out at me, though: First, the new software isn’t optimized for Apple’s iPad, one of the hottest devices currently available with an estimated 200,000 sales a week. That means iPad owners have to make do with a small version of the app or use the pixel-doubling feature to see it in full screen. And there’s no social aspect to the application — given the growth of social networking, I would have expected some type of such functionality. Perhaps a link to Twitter to say, “Hey, I just bought the new redesigned Apple Mac Mini that debuted this morning!” Even with those two minor niggles, Apple’s next earnings call should prove interesting if the company breaks out product sales generated by its new mobile software.

 

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By Kevin C. Tofel

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  1. What’s a niggle?

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    1. Another word for a nit. ;)

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  2. Are you saying that the app doesn’t have feedback capability? I’m thinking along the lines of the product feedback in Amazon.com and Newegg.com. If feedback isn’t there, that’s a pretty big nit.

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    1. There’s feedback capability for some products in the form of reading user product reviews and ratings, just like you can on the Apple Store website. I don’t see a way you can submit a review through the app, however.

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  3. [...] With New Software, Apple Opens 100M Mobile Stores [...]

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  4. Thanks for sharing a good creation. Apple could have created a mobile web version of its store, but by building a clean mobile storefront for use only on its own devices, it’s furthering the “halo effect” it already enjoys. And that effect can further influence owners of the 100 million iOS4 devices Apple says it’s sold — it’s like 100 million little mobile retail stores were just opened.

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  5. [...] Apple today introduced free Apple Store software for iPads, iPod touches and iPhones that enables customers to shop the retailer directly from the mobile devices. The new application supports browsing and shopping for Apple wares complete with user reviews and detailed product specifications, much like Apple’s retail website. Customers can also create appointments for in-store services such as Personal Shopping, Genius Bar or One-on-One training. Up to now, one could always shop the Apple Store or make in-store appointments through a web browser, so in that regards, the software isn’t adding any new functionality. But Apple’s retail web channel can be clunky in a small browser window, and clunky doesn’t sell hardware or software. Apple products and shopping are as much about the experience as they are about performance and features. [...] [...]

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  6. Again, this is a US-only (or perhaps North America- and Europe-only) thing. Apple continue to treat Asian (at least) customers — you know, the areas with the growing economies — as second-class inhabitants of custom-built, more-limited walled gardens. Here in Singapore, for instance, there’s no access to the iTunes Music Store (so no videos, either), and the Singapore App Store is a fraction the size of the US version. Whether these limitations are a result of Apple bowing to SIngapore’s decidedly Second World government, or media-megacorp armtwisting, or just a question of Apple policy, is completely unclear to the would-be customer.

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