Apple uses iPad to promote other products in stores

Apple using its iPad tablet devices to display product information and pricing

Apple is tweaking the look of its retail stores in what could be another marketing coup for the consumer electronics powerhouse.

The company is using its iPad tablet devices to display product information and pricing for its Mac computers, iPods, iPhones and even other iPads. The iPad displays, which also give customers the ability to summon help, are replacing the old acrylic sign holders that used to show you basic product features and pricing.

The Apple Store's 10th anniversary refresh, dubbed Apple Store 2.0, maintains the company's effort to give its brick and mortar locations an uncluttered, simple look featuring lots of open space.

Customers in Australia and Japan are already weighing in on the new look that was starting to pop up at Apple retail store locations on Sunday.

Twitter user Steve Aw from Brisbane, Australia described the iPad displays as a "totally new experience" for customers.

If you plan to check it out, here's what you have in store for you.

Every display unit has an iPad loaded with product information split into several sections such as features, compare (models), support, and a specialist tab that pings a customer service representative to come to your location. Macs also come with a "New to Mac?" tab to introduce Windows users to Apple's version of the PC, and the iPhone displays have a tab for carrier information.

The display devices appear to be custom loaded with special software that allows you to only view product information. Visitors to the stores report that pressing the device's home button does nothing. The iPads also don't appear to be using Apple's 30-pin dock connector port for powering the device, but rather an alternative charging method.

In another marketing move, there's speculation that Apple also plans to release a new application for the iPhone that will allow users to build and buy a made-to-order Mac. That's according to MacRumors. You would be able to customize your new computer on the iPhone just like you can on Apple.com, including the ability to add RAM, increase hard drive storage, and upgrade the processor.

Connect with Ian Paul ( @ianpaul ) and Today@PCWorld on Twitter for the latest tech news and analysis.

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