The Apple II was open and inexpensive. The Mac was point and click. Add to the list of successful but unique products from iPod, iTunes Store, iPhone to iPad. Along the way from rags to riches Apple launched a few hundred retail stores when every pundit said that such an effort and expense would be suicide for the company.
Look Who’s Copying Apple Again
Some have said that Apple’s stores are their greatest product yet. Where else can you go to find expertly displayed gadgets in a clean, wholesome, non-threatening atmosphere?
The Apple stores are such a big hit that others are already revving up their product copy machines.
First, it was Microsoft with their Windows-something stores.
The Windows software maker merely followed Burger King’s research method. Wherever McDonald’s put up a restaurant, Burger King would put one up nearby.
In Microsoft’s case, they’re putting up a few stores near Apple’s already entrenched mall model. High visibility. High traffic. Similar look and feel.
There is a difference between Apple’s stores and Microsoft’s stores. See if you can make it out.
The difference is customers. Apple has them. Microsoft does not (thanks to Mrinal Desai).
Microsoft isn’t the only company to copy Apple’s retail success. Since Google’s Android smart phone OS is a direct copy of Apple’s iPhone OS, what would you expect next?
If you said yes, you’d be correct.
The photo above left is from an Apple Store, while the photo on the right is of Androidland in Australia (a venture of telco Telstra and Google).
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Apple’s competitors flatter the company by copying as much as possible from the Mac maker’s success.
The problem is the neither Microsoft nor Android have been able to copy the one important ingredient for retail success. Customers.
Here in Honolulu we’re bless with three Apple stores, all within a few miles of each other.
There’s a store in the heart of Waikiki, another in the exclusive Kahala Mall, and a much larger and recently remodeled store at the famed Ala Moana Center mall.
So far, there’s not a Microsoft store or an Androidland anywhere to be seen. Maybe that’s a good thing.