Apple will reportedly ship devices and accessories to customers directly from its retail stores in North America.
The company has traditionally used a network of distribution centres and its factories in China to fulfil online orders but the ability to use stock from nearly 300 stores in the US and Canada could speed up delivery times.
The model has apparently been inspired by other retailers, most notably supermarkets, and the belief that it can cut costs, boost margins, and reduce the impact on the environment.
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Apple Store shipments
According to Bloomberg, there will be no option to order from a store and customers will be unaware of where their device has come from. All the changes will take place behind the scenes and the scheme will apply to orders placed from within 100 miles of an outlet.
The implementation would also allow Apple stores to continue to sell devices even if they are shut down because of Coronavirus restrictions. The company closed of its locations around the world at the peak of the pandemic and has since converted some back rooms into small support centres.
It is unclear whether such a model could be exported to the UK, where Apple has 38 stores, or whether it would have as great an impact given Britain’s smaller landmass. Apple has been contacted for comment.
Apple is expected to take the wraps off several new products this week, including what would be the first iPhone to be compatible with 5G networks.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.