The fire that broke out at Foxconn, Chengdu on May 20 was tragic, resulting in 2 deaths and 16 casualties. For those who don’t know, Foxconn is Apple’s iPad 2 manufacturing plant. While there is no indication that the two incidents are related, the fire has been followed by shipping period of the iPad 2 going up to 1-2 weeks from 3-5 business days in the US.
Foxconn has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons – string of suicides, product leaks, poor working conditions, and now the fire. There hasn’t been any official news from Apple in this regard but production would unavoidably be affected by the accident.
Meanwhile, Apple Store 2.0 has gone live in Australia to mark the 10th anniversary of Apple Retail Stores. The main attractions are the interactive iPad displays that are running on an iOS or web app. Customers can interact with iPads at kiosk-like terminals and get product information, prices, run feature comparisons, and request help from a store specialist.
The “Retail 2.0″ stores have opened up in US too.
The iPad mini-kiosks are a great way for customers to get a feel of the iPad while getting the information they need. Good marketing move from Apple.