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Apple to Demote iPod Stock to Accessory Shelves In Retail Stores

Apple will relocate iPod stock from the sales floor and back storage area to the accessory shelves and remove the iPad-based Smart Signs that sit next to many display devices starting on Wednesday, according to a new report from 9to5Mac. The changes are an effort by Apple to simplify the shopping experience in its retail stores.

Apple is preparing to make significant changes to its stores to simplify the experience by relocating iPod stock to accessory shelves and removing iPad-based Smart Signs, according to several Apple Retail managers briefed today on the plans. Apple will begin rolling out these notable changes overnight on Tuesday to stores in the United States so that customers who begin coming in on Wednesday see the refreshed look.
Apple's signature products, the iPad, Mac, iPhone, iPod and Apple Watch, have typically been stored in the back storage area of an Apple Store. A customer would have to talk to an Apple Store employee and tell them which model they would like to purchase and wait as their product was retrieved from the back. Apple's non-signature products, like Apple TV and Time Capsule, are available on the accessory shelves and are easily accessible by customers without having to consult with a retail employee.

Now, customers will be able to simply walk up and pull their iPod of choice off of the store shelves. The demotion of the iPod from the main floor to the shelves is likely reflective of the iPod's decreased sales, as the device has become an increasingly minor business for Apple. The Cupertino company has also decreased the iPod's presence on its website, removing the iPod section from the website's top banner.

Additionally, Apple is removing the iPad 2-based Smart Signs intended to educate customers about Apple products. Sources tell 9to5Mac that some customers would get confused using the Smart Signs, expecting them to be fully usable iPad demo units rather than simple ways to learn about a product. Instead, Apple will begin loading product information directly on the iPads, iPhones and Macs starting next week. With less clutter on the product tables, Apple plans to install more devices for customers to test on the sales floor.

The changes to the retail stores follow Apple's move to merge its website and online store, also creating a more simplified shopping experience for customers.

Top Rated Comments

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16 months ago
Goodnight, sweet prince.
Rating: 12 Votes
16 months ago

I found the smart signs confusing myself when I was there last. I thought it was an iPad demo but I visit the store once a year so it wasn't familiar.

Interesting. I guess your first time encounter was with the ones in the see-trhough acrylic stand. Now these are held by a redesigned, white stand. I guess this was a move by retail to differentiate Smartsigns over the demo units even more.

Rating: 10 Votes
16 months ago
ipod stock has never been on the main floor outside of the holiday 'express zone'.

this move is basically saying that interest in the iPod is so low that they don't figure anyone would bother trying to steal them so why keep them locked up in back.
Rating: 9 Votes
16 months ago

Right so by your logic this is the end of the Apple Tv.

Alright, for the second time, I never said it was the end of the iPod. Not yet. I said it's not selling like they used to. And then I called it a "hobby" product. Not a "dead" one. Please read my posts before responding to them.
Rating: 8 Votes
16 months ago
It's always sad to see a product line go, but I don't think it can be denied that that's where the iPod is headed. Stand alone mp3 players are just a thing of the past. Although I'm sure some people can think of places where they see tons of iPods still, or come up with great reasons why iPods are still relevant, it's clear they are just simply not selling like they used to.
Rating: 7 Votes
16 months ago

some customers would get confused using the Smart Signs, expecting them to be fully usable iPad demo units rather than simple ways to learn about a product

It must be a tough job to strike the right balance between design speaks for itself (design follows function) and making things even more legible for the rest of us (design follows experience?).

Many of us wouldn't mistake a smart sign for a demo unit, due to its immobility and limitation or specific function it serves.
But good ol' Granny Granadine might wonder why she can't place a phone call to speak to Grandson Greg on a smart sign...
Rating: 7 Votes
16 months ago
Wait, so they'll be on a back shelf, but there will be no display units?

Really is a shame what's happened to it. I realize that the masses don't need an iPod once they get an iPhone, but so many people overlook the value of a dedicated device. I love my iPod Nano (5th, 6th, and 7th gen) and will probably buy an iPod Touch one day because it's the last high-capacity music player they offer.

It really is said that Apple doesn't want to search the music player market anymore. Streaming is great an all, but what iPod alternative is there now for people who like to keep large amounts of offline music organized though iTunes? Many of the competing products are $500+ or even thousands.
Rating: 7 Votes
16 months ago
So a major pillar of Apple has finally crumbled. And what is there to replace it? The gimmicky accessory Apple Watch? Apple is turning into a 2 trick pony: iPhone and Macbook Pro. Heck, even their Macbook lineup is turning into a clusterfudge with that new mishmash Macbook, dated Macbook Airs, dated Macbook Pro non-retina. Apple has a lot to worry about the next 3-5 years. Don't forget, Job's fingerprints were on Apple products up to 3 years after his death. Now we are beginning to see the post-Jobs products, and they're failing miserably in terms of innovation and usability. Sure, sales numbers are still strong, but the pipeline is getting thin.
Rating: 6 Votes
16 months ago

your quote "It's always sad to see a product line go, but I don't think it can be denied that that's where the iPod is headed."

Pretty clear to me you think the ipod is pretty much done, so then by your logic so is the Apple tv

"That's where the iPod is headed."
Meaning, it's future is not so bright. It's sales are declining. It's not doing so well.

And once more, I said that, from what I can see, the Apple TV has gained traction (even if a little bit) while the iPod is losing momentum. In my opinion one product is rising while the other is falling. So no, according to my logic I do not believe the Apple TV is done. It's clear you're not understanding what I'm saying.
Rating: 6 Votes
16 months ago
So the process is changing from:
* Walk into store.
* Look for free salesperson.
* Look harder for free salesperson.
* Try looking like you're someone with money to spend and see what happens.
* Nothing!
* Ask check-in person with iPad for help.
* Get waved vaguely to "someone at the back".
* Wander to back of store.
* Navigate bored rows of genius customers held captive at the rearmost tables.
* Look for free salesperson...

* Walk into store.
* Pick iPod off shelf.
* Self-checkout on iPhone.
* Go home.

Sounds good.
Rating: 6 Votes

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