Apple appears to be testing out a new configuration of the Genius Bar space in at least one of its stores. The table has been rotated 90-degrees to be perpendicular to the wall rather than parallel. This allows Geniuses to work on both sides and increases the capacity by 71%.
While the popularity of Apple Stores and their Genius Bars steadily increases, the space available to accommodate customers in a given location may not. Apple appears to be trying out a different layout to gain space for the Genius Bar while working within the existing square footage of the store.
Rotated Genius Bar layout. Courtesy ifoAppleStore.com.
Rotating the Genius Bar 90-degrees permits Geniuses to work on both sides of the table. It allows for 12 stools for customers rather than the current 7 that are available. According to ifoAppleStore.com, it also appears there is a cash drawer and cables embedded in the table, although there are no outlets or ports visible on the surface.
In its current form, the move would come at the expense of the popular children’s area where low tables put iPads in the hands of kids and parents alike. It appears this space has been eliminated to accommodate the new configuration.
It’s not known whether this change will become widespread at Apple Stores or if it is a test limited to one location.
Update: ifoAppleStore.com is now reporting that the test location is Los Gatos, CA. Here is a picture of the original configuration when the store opened.
Original Genius Bar layout. Courtesy ifoAppleStore.com.