According to TUAW, Apple will soon expand its presence at Best Buy stores, with a richer product line-up, and new Genius Bars at selected locations. So far, Genius bars were only featured at Apple’s own retail stores, and the alleged expansion would be a major shift for Apple, designed to reach a larger crowd, especially in places where the company does not offer retail stores. While the claim is only a rumor at this stage, Apple’s move would make a lot of sense, as Best Buy owns more than a thousand retail stores across the nation, about four times more than what Apple currently offers. By bringing full-blown Genius Bars to Best Buy locations, Apple would be able to leverage a large network of stores, and would be able to offer a glimpse of the Apple Store experience to areas without Apple-branded retail stores.
An anonymous tipster who works at a Best Buy store let us know this morning that he was informed by his Apple rep that the Apple section of the computer department will be going through a transition sometime this Spring to allow more products to be displayed. At the same time, the stores will get a Genius Bar, up to this time a fixture only at Apple Stores.Today, Best Buy offers only a subset of Apple’s product line, namely the iOS family of devices, as well as some pre-configured MacBook models. Special Apple-branded areas are featured at about two-thirds of Best Buy stores, and are each staffed by a handful of Apple consultants recruited to guide potential buyers. The addition of Genius Bars would offer a whole new buying experience to Apple customers who traditionally buy their Apple-branded equipment at Best Buy, especially for customers living in remote or rural areas.