Apple Stores may have a slightly new look come next Wednesday. Sarah Tew/CBS Interactive
Apple is purportedly tweaking the layout of its retail stores to shine a light on more products.
One device that’s changing location is the iPod, 9to5Mac said late Tuesday, citing intel from several Apple Retail managers briefed on the plans. Previously, iPods were stored in the back room along with iPhones, iPads and other major products, so customers had to request one from a sales rep. Starting next Wednesday, Apple will display its latest iPod lineup in the accessory section so that customers can just pick one off the rack.
Once Apple’s core product before the introduction of the iPhone and iPad, the iPod has gradually become a less significant part of the lineup, accounting for a lower slice of sales. In July, Apple upgraded the iPod Touch with an 8-megapixel camera and a faster 64-bit processor and also increased the variety of colors available for the iPod Nano and Shuffle. Relegating the iPod to the accessory rack can be seen as a type of demotion but also a better way to highlight the devices so they catch the eye of more consumers.
As part of the store revamp, Apple will also remove its iPad 2 Smart Signs. In the old days, Apple Stores used paper signs and poster boards to display information about its different products. In 2011, Apple replaced those signs and boards with non-working iPad 2 units that displayed product information on their screens. Referred to as Smart Signs, the units apparently confused some customers who thought they were working iPads that they could try out, 9to5Mac said.

Instead of the Smart Signs, Apple will put product and pricing information directly onto the displays of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. By removing the Smart Signs, Apple will also create more space for other products that consumers can take for a test drive. As one example citied by 9to5Mac, Apple will highlight iPhones with redesigned white display docks.
The changes are slated to take place overnight on Tuesday, August 25, so that consumers who visit an Apple Store will see the revamp in action on Wednesday.
Apple did not immediately respond to CNET’s request for comment.

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