The iPod is about to get demoted to the accessory shelves in Apple’s retail stores, and the iPad-based Smart Signs will be disappearing from displays, according to a report today. 9to5Mac says several Apple Retail managers were briefed on Tuesday about the plans, which will be implemented overnight in U.S. stores on Tuesday of next week.
Typically reserved for accessories like Apple Watch bands, headphones, and iPhone cases, Apple Store accessory walls will now be home to the recently-updated iPod line. Apple products, ranging from iPods to iPads to Macs, have typically been stored in the back of Apple Stores and brought to a customer upon the point of sale. Now, when a customer wants to buy an iPod, she or he can simply pull it off a shelf without needing to wait for the product to be brought from the back room.
The demotion is likely a reflection of the iPod’s slow slide into obscurity, as the once popular device’s sales continue to slide. Apple has also demoted the presence of the iPod in its online store, and the device no longer gets an annual upgrade.
Apple will also be pulling the iPad Smart Signs put in place back in mid-2011 as part of an Apple Store 2.0 initiative. The iPad 2 devices originally replaced paper signs on the product tables, and sat next to Macs, iPhones, and iPads, delivering detailed information about the products on their screens.
In place of the iPads, Apple will load pricing information and product details onto the display iOS devices and Macs themselves, allowing more space on the tables for additional devices for customers to test drive.
On exception in the plan, are the recently installed iPad mini displays for the Apple Watch. Those will stay in place for now. Apple will also be using redesigned white docks for the iPhone displays.
9to5Mac says some of the larger Apple Stores will retain a few Smart Signs during the transition. The report says part of the reasoning behind the removal of the Smart Signs was due to customers becoming confused when the iPad being used as a Smart Sign was not able to operate as a demo iPad.
These changes are part of a change in Apple’s retail stores that have been taking place over the last few months. Retail Chief Angela Ahrendts, along with Jony Ive, has been working on revamping Apple’s retail locations.