Mac Stories is reporting that Apple will soon be releasing a new iPhone App. This new iPhone app would tie in with the concierge service that Apple offers through it's Genius bar. It looks like there will be an App for store employees and for customers the current Apple Store App will be updated with a few new location based services. From the store side they will be able to see when a customer with an appointment shows up, apparently a Push Notification will be sent to the employee's iPhone or iPod Touch. This notification will be keyed off when a customer checks in from their personal iPhone or iPod Touch. [ad#468x60 Banner] It further seems that the Apple Store App will let you do more than just check-in. It will also tell the customer their place in the queue and who they will be meeting with along with a photo of that employee. When the Apple Store employee assigned to the customer is ready to meet that customer, a Push Notification will be sent to the customer's iPhone or iPod Touch.
The service looks to be not only for Genius Bar appointments, but also for in-store purchase assistance. A service like this could be very handy for Apple and their customers come this holiday season. If you have ever been in an Apple Store during the American Holiday shopping rush, anything that makes that visit easier is a welcome sight.
Mac Stories apparently this information leaked after a week long Apple Store conference for Apple Store managers. These managers will also get an App they can use to set-up rooms, or one would assume zones, in the store that apparently would help employees find their customer.
How all of this will work doesn't seem to be explained, but possibly by the iPhone or iPod Touch keying into the local WiFi and then the device giving it's coordinates based off triangulation from that WiFi signal, but that's sheer guess work as it isn't mentioned in the story at all. That's what gives me pause on this story. I think the idea of the Apple Store App getting an update that allows for check-in and for status updates on queue, even a photo of the Apple Store employee that will meet the customer makes sense. The in-store location based service seems a stretch; but with Apple anything is possible.
UPDATE: 10/26/10 9:00 PM CENTRAL - Today Apple did indeed release an update to their iPhone App called "Apple Store." The updated feature includes the following:
- Add engraving and gift wrapping to select purchases from the Apple Online Store.
- Reserve products for pickup at an Apple Retail Store.
- Check in for reservations and request help within stores (iOS 4 required).
- Add Apple Retail Store reservations directly to iCal