Apple is currently trialling a new scheme it plans to add to its Genius Bars worldwide sometime in the future. It has installed a wireless server system in its Apple Store labs near its headquarters in Cupertino, and is currently seeing if it can benefit customers who need to replace a handset that's not easily fixable.
Presently, when an iPhone or iPad user suffers a serious hardware issue with their device, they are advised to back it up at home before going to an Apple Store, as information such as contact data could be lost during the fixing process or if the phone or tablet is replaced entirely.
The new wireless server system will allow the Genius Bar helpers to wirelessly and temporarily back-up users' data, so that it can be restored on a replacement device in store, ensuring the customer has as little to do as possible.
This does raise some privacy issues, of course. Not everybody would be happy with their private information being stored on an Apple server, no matter how fleetingly, but it does make the process as painless as possible to the consumer.
A source also explained to 9to5mac.com that although iCloud already offers remote back-up services, which could theoretically allow a customer to restore all of their information in store, the distance of the server from the specific Genius Bar could slow down the process considerably. Apple Stores often have many devices to fix in a day, and don't have the time to wait.
The same site also emphasises that many of Apple's prototype schemes and projects never see the light of day, so this may never be fully implemented. However, its source did suggest that the company could pilot the system in select stores in mid-2013.
Would you be happy for your data to be backed up in store? Let us know in the comments below...
Pic: (cc) Wooly Matt