Apple gave its website a major overhaul that does away with the distinct online store we've known for years. That means you can't use the store.apple.com subdomain and browse products; instead, you'll now find buy buttons scattered around the Apple site that let you add products to your shopping bag. Read on to see how Apple's new shopping experience works.
Where did the Online Apple Store go?
In a word, away. Apple created a unified website where researching and buying products doesn't require jumping between the main site and a subdomain where the shopping part actually happens. Assuming Apple did a good job with the redesign, looking for and buying new iPhones, Macs, and other products should take fewer mouse clicks.
Sorry, no dedicated shopping site here!
I Found what I Want, So How do I Buy it?
Let's say you've been looking at a new iPhone or MacBook on Apple's website and you're ready to buy. Apple's product pages sport Buy buttons. Click those, and you get to pick the options for whatever you're buying—like storage capacity and color.
No more Apple Store site! Look for the Buy buttons on product pages.
What About Accessories? How do I Buy Those?
In the before time, when we had a dedicated Apple Store website, you could peruse accessories for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Now, you're offered a handful of accessories when selecting a product for purchase. Configuring a MacBook Air for purchase, for example, shows you items like Apple's Magic Mouse, video adapters, AirPort Basestations, and Beats headphones.
If you're on the hunt for adapters, chargers, headphones, and other gear for Apple products you already own, however, Apple totally dropped the ball on making it easy to shop. Turns out Apple has a special section on its site just for accessories, and now that TMO stumbled on it you know where it is, too.
Where's my Shopping Cart?
Goodbye shopping cart, and hello shopping bag. The shopping bag serves the same purpose, just with a different name and a wonderfully nondescript icon to boot. Look in the upper right corner on Apple's site for the block with a hump. Is it a padlock? Or maybe a loaf of bread? Who knows, but it's supposed to be a bag. Click it to see a drop down menu showing everything you plan to buy.
Your shopping bag (not cart) shows what you want to buy and order status
You can also manage what's in your cart—er, bag— from here as well as check order status, see items you tagged as favorites, and manage your Apple account.
Does this Change the Apple Store App on my iPhone and iPad?
It looks like Apple isn't making any changes to the Apple Store app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch—at least for now. The only sort-of-obvious change we've found so far is that the shopping cart button now says "Bag," but still uses the cart icon.
It's a shopping cart and a bag all in one!
Now that you know how to use Apple's new online shopping system, and can even find the accessories section, it's time to start being the consumer you are. Hopefully Apple doesn't have to take down its entire website every time a product gets updated like it did with the online store.