Apple Store celebrates 10th anniversary with 2.0 experience, iPads locked in lucite
We already wished the Apple Store a happy 10th anniversary, looking back to see what's changed (and what hasn't) in a decade of retail presence. Now Apple's tweaking things even more, launching the so-called Apple Store 2.0. iPads have been scattered throughout, deployed to run as mini-kiosks and providing information about various products on display. Users can learn more about any particular gadget on the tablets, figure out pricing, and even hit a button to have a sales associate swing by -- for when turning around and saying "excuse me" is just too much work. The new system has already launched in Australia and, while it's hardly the shocker some thought Cupertino might unleash on us and certainly won't revolutionize your retail experience, it's better than a dusty 'ol YouTube video.

Update: We ran down to the 5th Avenue Apple Store and took a look-see. Check out some pictures in the gallery here, then join us after the break for our own video and for some impressions.
Gallery | 16 Photos

"Smart Signs" Apple Store 5th Ave. NYC



[Thanks, Khan]

Again, none of this is earth-shattering stuff, but the so-called Smart Sign system is an interesting way of presenting product information. The system basically replaces the paper cards that have been in place, in theory simplifying the process of deploying products around the store and enabling employees to push new prices to iPad 2s locked in Lucite and running some custom software. Unsurprisingly these tablets don't do anything when you press the Home button, so there's no way to escape the retail tedium, and overall the whole system is surprisingly messy. Wires are running everywhere, twist-tied in place, and it just doesn't feel very... well, it doesn't feel very Apple. But, if you want to read all about the specs of an iPad 2 you can now do it on an iPad 2 -- but you still can't walk in and take one home.