Apple salespeople go online in four countries outside the U.S.

The service will allow customers to get answers to questions related to buying a new iPad or iPhone.

Don Reisinger
Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Apple's store specialists are now available online in some countries.
Apple's store specialists are now available online in some countries. Apple

Apple salespeople are now going online in a handful of countries around the world.

The iPhone maker today launched an online service that will allow would-be customers looking to buy an iPhone or iPad to chat or hold a call with an Apple Store specialist discussing the ins and outs of those devices. If the person decides to make a purchase, the specialist will set up the product, just as they would in-store.

According to Pocket-lint, which was first to report on the launch, the service is only available to customers in the U.K., Brazil, Germany, and Spain. Customers in the U.S. have, at least so far, not been offered the service.

Apple has been celebrated for its in-store shopping experience, allowing customers to check out products, ask questions of salespeople who seem knowledgeable, and have the products they choose set up for them before they leave the store. Its online experience is by no means as full-service. It appears the company is now trying to change that.

CNET has contacted Apple for comment on when it might launch this new service in other countries. We will update this story when we have more information.