Sherwood, the pilot program that allows Apple customers to pick up their pre-ordered iPhone 4S at the company's stores, went live today.
Apple will roll out the pilot program for its customers in the San Francisco region.
The in-store pickup initiative will soon be active in other parts of the Bay Area and the United States. The introduction of the program should be available according to a consumer's time zone location.
Apple customers can select any Apple retail store for pickup. The program will also work in conjunction with Apple's retail store system, EasyPay.
Customers will need to present their proof of purchase and valid identification to pick up their pre-ordered iPhone 4S at the store.
Sources told MacRumors, a technology website, that Sherwood "offers the benefit of being able to avoid home delivery of holiday gifts that might otherwise reveal the nature of the gift during the upcoming holiday period."
The sources also noted Sherwood will allow customers to "designate one additional person to be eligible to pick up the order." This is instituted just in case the original pre-order customer will not available for the in-store pickup.
Apple retail stores will also incorporate returns. This is expected to simplify the return process and allow customers to disregard any return shipping issues. Customers will no longer have to worry themselves with the UPS delivery of their pre-ordered iPhone 4S.
Many products bought from the online store may take several days to ship to Apple retail stores, such as personalized computers, engraved and gift-wrapped products and third-party accessories.
Apple offers integration between its online shopping and retail stores, because users can reserve products from available retail store stock.
The company has even expanded the program for busy holiday shopping times to include the gift-wrapping of standard-configuration Macs and iPods.
The Sherwood program will reportedly start its availability through select retail stores; however, the company is planning to expand it across all stores soon.
Apple's latest move is similar to Best Buy's integration of in-store pickups for pre-ordered iPhone 4S's.