Apple has just launched a new way for customers to shop for iPhones, and it’s set to revolutionize the online shopping experience. The company has introduced a free service called “Shop with a Specialist” that allows customers in the U.S. to have a live video shopping experience on the Apple website. With this service, customers can browse the latest iPhone models, compare features, and have an Apple Specialist answer their questions and help them find the best deal through the Apple Trade-In program or their carrier.
Customers can also learn more about the iPhone’s specific features, switch to iOS, and get help comparing the different phones, colors, sizes, and more. This service is available starting today, just as the new yellow iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus go on sale.
The move to put Apple retail specialists online is part of a larger shift at the company to direct more consumers to its e-commerce website to complete their sales. While customers no longer line up at Apple stores on iPhone launch day, many consumers still want the high-touch customer service that Apple specialists provide. This new service will fill that void.
Apple says its new live shopping experience will be available on its Apple store website and will be open every day between the hours of 7 AM to 7 PM PT in the U.S. During the live video session, the Apple specialist will be on camera and sharing their screen, but they won’t be able to see the customer. They’re able to help with a range of questions, from tech specs to deals to the various financing options Apple offers, and more.
The new service expands on other existing Apple customer support technologies, which include the ability to talk to a real person to get help with troubleshooting tech problems through the Apple Support app.
The launch arrives at a critical time for smartphone makers as last year’s sales were the lowest in nearly a decade or 11% below 2021. Apple held the top spot in the fourth quarter in terms of shipments, but Samsung beat it for the year with 257.9 million shipments and a 22% market share, versus Apple’s 232.2 million and 19% share.
At launch, U.S. customers will be able to get up to $600 credit toward the new iPhone 14 if they trade in an iPhone 11 or later through the new service, or from the Apple Store app or an Apple Store location. This new service is set to change the way people shop for iPhones, and it’s just another example of Apple’s commitment to customer service and innovation.