You know what they say, right? ‘Time flies when you’re having fun.’ Also, in the words of Kermit the Frog, ‘Time’s fun when you’re having flies.’ I’m trying to soften you up with a bit of humor before the irritation and pet peeve segment begins.
Have you been to an Apple Store recently? You know the ones. The stores that have the highest foot traffic in the mall (except maybe for the food court at noon). The stores that sell the most technology per square foot on the planet. What has gone wrong?
Of Noobs And Newbies
Way back in the day, somewhere around the turn of the century, an Apple Store was an anomaly; a retail place for Mac folk to hang out and talk about Macs and how consider how long it would be before Apple shuttered the doors to their high priced misadventure.
Everyone seemed to believe that Apple’s foray into retail stores would be a losing proposition. The Mac’s market share was small, the Mac was on life support, and, you know, Gateway.
A funny thing happened along the way to the 21st century. Apple’s retail stores didn’t fail. They succeeded. Initially they were populated by Mac users who finally had a place to have an intelligent conversation with someone who understood Apple and the Mac and were not part of the organ grinder monkey crew that populated Circuit City and CompUSA.
Not long after the first stores opened Apple pushed the iPod onto the world, and the only place to get those great music players initially– for Macs only– was the Apple Store. The Genius Bar helped us get help and there was seldom any waiting. That was back in the day when the Mac and Apple were synonymous terms.
Apple now has almost 500 retail stores worldwide and you need a freakin’ appointment to get Genius Bar service, and often times an appointment just to pick up something you already bought.
Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.
Obviously, Yogi Berra was a Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod user. Maybe it’s the crowded stores which caused his passing away to that great Apple Store in the sky.
Today’s Apple stores are packed with noobs and newbies; customers who switched from the dark side of Windows and ran away from the dark side of Android, all searching for a new and better life, turning each Apple Store into a mall-based Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty for the great unwashed masses of humanity who yearn for the future that God and country promise; where Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of ‘It Just Works’ rules above all else.
Most of Apple’s mall store customers don’t know about the good old days when Apple almost died at the hands of Microsoft; the days when Apple and Mac meant the same thing; the days when everyone you met at an Apple Store owned a Mac and was proud of the Genius Bar service they did not need.
Today, Apple’s customers need hand holding reminiscent of kindergarten classes. Apple Stores host classes on how to use an iPad, for crying out loud. How can that be possible? Two-year old kids who cannot read and barely walk can use an iPad; some of them for days at a time. Today’s Mac users gobble up new Macs like candy; the Mac is selling at record numbers every quarter, largely due to the dumbing and numbing down of OS X and, you know, gold. Or, thin.
Gone are the good old days when Mac users would see friendly and familiar faces in the local Apple Store, talk some trash about Windows PCs, trade some RISC vs. CISC clichés, and go home to a PowerPC Mac that was more like a family member than a piece of technology etched into a one-piece aluminum case in the latest color trends.
Today’s Apple Store is full of young associates named Ashley and Brad, and the customers are as clueless about point and click or multi-touch or just plain touch as cubicle farm workers were in a Windows only company where every PC user had an IT tech on speed dial.
Who are all these people who claim to be Apple customers but didn’t bother to show up for the highly acclaimed and criticized Steve Jobs movie? And if they’re really Apple customers why do they need so much help?