Apple launches new video chat shopping feature for consumers

Photo (c) Klaus Vedfelt - Getty Images

Apple users can also expect to see changes to App Store pricing in the coming months

Shopping for a new iPhone just got easier. 

The tech company announced that shoppers will now be able to video chat with an Apple specialist from the comfort of their homes – or wherever they happen to be – to help guide them through the purchase of their next iPhone.

These video chats will be in real time and give Apple customers the chance to go through all of the different features, prices, phone carrier plans, and more of each iPhone model. 

“We’re constantly innovating to deliver an even more personalized experience for our customers, meeting them where they are to deliver the best of Apple,” said Karen Rasmussen, head of retail online at Apple. 

Consumers have more options

With the announcement of this new shopping feature, consumers now have another option to choose from when looking to buy a new iPhone – shopping in-store, shopping online, and now over video chat.

Specialists will be available to video chat from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time every day of the week. Unlike a regular video chat, the camera doesn’t work both ways. When connecting with an Apple Specialist, customers will be able to see their customer service rep and their screen, but the Apple Specialist won’t be able to see them. 

Consumers can join the video chat session with just about any question: deciding which device will best suit their lifestyles, deciding between colors, figuring out payment options, or gaining insight into their device trade-in options. 

Get ready for new prices in the App Store

Apple also announced that shoppers can expect to see some new prices in the App Store starting in May. 

While the changes are primarily targeted toward app developers, consumers will feel the effects. In the coming months, app developers will have the option to charge anywhere from $0.29 to $10,000 (with special permission from Apple) for their apps. The new updates will also allow for apps to be charged in $0.10 increments, and many apps will transition from $0.99 to $1.00. 

In making the change, Apple said it hopes to give creators more flexibility, while also creating more uniformity among the different countries and currencies that host and sell apps on the App Store. 

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