Apple Mulls Pilot Program to Lend iPads to Retail Staff

Apple is making preparations to try out a program that allows retail employees to borrow iPads from the company, according to a new report.

“company plans to start the pilot program exclusively at its flagship store in San Francisco. Under the program, retail employees at the store will be allowed to “check out” iPads for a week at a time.” according to a report by CNet.

The iPads will come from a stack of loaner devices that the employees will be free to use for up to a week before turning them back in. We have no word yet on when the company plans to put this program into action.

The iPad pilot program isn’t quite as generous as a 2007 initiative, where Apple gave out free first-generation iPhones to all of its employees.

The iPad now plays a central role to Apple’s retail strategy. Shortly after the 10th anniversary of its retail business, the company overhauled its stores to add iPad 2 “smart signs” next to all of its products.

Apple’s retail business continues to expand rapidly, bringing in $3.5 billion in revenue last quarter. The company is set to open 30 locations this quarter, including high-profile stores in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

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