– an investigation of the human condition

Apple Store: A Critical Review

Finishing early today meant that I could come down to the Sydney Apple Store on George Street for the first proper time since its opening back in June. It’s definitely a lot quieter! No screaming, clapping, dancing and other random acts of insanity, which is good to see. I was nicely greeted when I first walked in, it definitely made me feel welcome 🙂

I proceeded to walk around and just ‘observe’ those around me. At every second or so computer or laptop there was someone hunched over in complete concentration and delight. Some were checking their emails, others were checking the latest news headlines, there was a surprisingly large number of people looking up asian websites – probably also just their email inboxes, others were on Facebook, MySpace, Youtube etc etc etc etc. I even spotted one person making modifications to their resumé! It was overall a fairly cool environment… relaxed, friendly, there’s plenty of staff in coloured shirts around too! Upstairs is the same. A queue for one-on-one support and lessons lined the balcony side of the floor, opposite them a roped off area with plenty of tutorials in progress. A little further down there were people salivating over the new iPhone 3G (unfortunately the phone has yet to have the same effect on me) and general customers going about their own thing too.

Now it was my turn to try it all out. I’ve been looking into purchasing a laptop stand to alleviate the strain on my upper back and neck by looking down at my laptop on my desk all the time, so what better opportunity than to see what kind of useful help I could get from the clearly labeled “Specialists”. I approached a nice young Asian girl who was available to help and asked her where they kept the laptop stands. Her initial reaction wasn’t great – she must have been new because she had no idea if they even stocked them. After a quick look around she eventually directed me to a shelf below a display table. Unfortunately the make and model of stand that I had in mind wasn’t there. Before getting here I actually popped into the NextByte at Broadway and found the one I wanted for a ridiculous $109! (In the US they sell for $50!!!!!!) The highlight of this encounter was that she offered and insisted to go and search out the back for possible stock that was not put out due to insufficient room on the shelves. She came back five minutes later, empty handed, but that didn’t matter, I was already impressed with her willingness to help. Working in retail myself, I know how valuable a trait like that is in a sales assistant. Not disheartened, I continued on my way, systematically browsing through each of the shelves and displays.

Overall, I would like to make the following notes: they seriously need to restock and recover their shelves and keep it a little bit more organised. The notebook bags and cases were all over the place and half had already been opened. I understand that things like that are hard to maintain over the course of the day, but yeah, it sort of negated from the beauty of the store… It definitely wasn’t like this on opening night 😛 I am loving the fact that while standing here for the past 15 or so minutes writing up this post, that nobody has seemed to come up and try the hard sell on me! Unheard of in other retail shops!

Anyway, this post is ridiculously long already so I’ll end it here. I think I might go across the street and have a peek at the Telstra t[life] Concept Store 🙂



5 responses

  1. Jono

    this is a comment from me made on an iPhone in the telstra store!!! It took me 15 minutes just to write this MSG using my fat fingers. 😦

    August 6, 2008 at 3:27 pm

  2. Briffa

    Macs: overpriced, incompatible, sucky

    August 6, 2008 at 10:01 pm

  3. Briffa: If you could come up with newer bafflingly inaccurate statements, I’d be more impressed. Honestly, you must not have actually used a Mac since 1999.

    Personally, the only thing I have Windows on my Mac for is flashing Sony Ericsson phones, and that’s because the hacked up, gray-market flashing software is Windows-only. I have no problem operating without Windows otherwise.

    And don’t give me any BS about how Linux is ready for the desktop now, etc etc. It’s a very powerful and useful operating system that has made great strides in usability compared with 10 years ago, but still has a long way to go.

    August 7, 2008 at 11:53 pm

  4. jono

    kudos to DrunkenTech! I (naturally) second everything you’ve said 🙂

    In terms of pricing, at each of the last few Apple Media events, they have been reducing all their prices for the newly upgraded products that they announce and so their pricing now, compared to a decade ago, is a lot more competitive…

    Mac OS X Leopard (latest Operating System) – $129
    Windows Vista Premium Edition (mid range version) – $349 (What a rip!)

    The issue that I do have however with Apple pricing, is that the conversion rate between the US prices and AU prices that they have set isn’t exactly right. With our booming dollar and the US’s falling economy, I would have liked to see an even more substantial decrease in our prices.

    And not only that, but if you want to take the iPhone into account, Optus has some of the cheapest rates available in the world on it, especially compared to sole telco who stock it in the US, AT&T. We haven’t seen Apple come and disapprove with that, have we? In the same manner that they threatened Roger’s in Canada with very small stock amounts if they didn’t, in fact, reduce the rates that they set.

    August 8, 2008 at 7:23 am

  5. Briffa

    Yup I havnt used a mac since 1999 cuz they sucked. Can you upgrade them yet or do u still have to pick it up, throw it away and go buy another one?

    August 9, 2008 at 12:45 pm

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