Apple Stores 2016? Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded. That’s fallacious reasoning, of course, but you understand the sentiment. There was a time when standing in line at an Apple Store to get the latest OS X version and a free t-shirt was a social event of the human kind. Sadly, those days are gone.
Why Did They Do That?
Apple’s product line has expanded dramatically since the Stores opened way back when and featured new Macs, software in boxes, accessories, and even cameras and printers. Those days of limited products are gone, and today’s stores display many different models of Macs, iPhones, iPads, and Watch, but plenty of Apple-approved accessories, and often as many employees as customers.
The latest news tells inveterate Apple watchers that the company has begun to untether certain display products, notably the iPhones which were visible on a dock but also tethered to the table by a security cable. Whether this is little more than a test setup in certain locales where pilfering and product shrinkage is not expected to be a problem remains to be seen.
In Toronto and the new U.K. Apple Store on Regent Street, iPhones no longer have the security cable, which customers probably like because now they can hold and feel a new iPhone with less restraint (even putting it into a pocket; you know, to test the feel) and even try accessories and cases. Of course, each iPhone on display also has security built in so they cannot easily be removed from the store, and those that are can also be deactivated and rendered unusable within minutes.
I can’t wait to see the YouTube videos of Apple Security and the mall’s Paul Blart wannabes who tackle a customer who accidentally left the iPhone in their pocket before exiting the door.
That’ll make the news.
Why is Apple doing this? They want customers to touch and feel products in an improved environment. Remember, that’s exactly why the Apple Stores were launched in the last century. To provide a better display environment than was available in Circuit City, CompUSA, BestBuy, and elsewhere.
‘It’s A Conspiracy!’
That brings me to a brief missive on conspiracy theories. Only Apple knows why Apple does what it does, but those of us who follow the company often develop our own theories. For example, where are the new Macs? Has Apple given up on the Mac? Are Apple executives stupid?
Then we conjure up all kinds of reasons why something is happening or not happening and run with it ad nauseam like the faux news channels on cable TV. No headphone jack in iPhone 7? It’s a conspiracy to get us to buy more Beats headphones! 100 women come out and accuse a presidential candidate of harassment and worse– and it’s a conspiracy involving thousands of people in disparate media organizations throughout the country and within government.
Unfortunately for the defensive, that’s not how conspiracies work. A conspiracy works well for half a dozen people who attempt to hide or deceive, but not so well when dozens or hundreds or thousands of people are involved. Sooner rather than later someone spills the beans and the gig is up. I don’t believe the massive conspiracy theories in politics, and I don’t believe Apple is conspiring to ditch the Mac.
Apple is a company made up of tens of thousands of employees, and many of them work on Mac-related projects. If something bad was going on regarding the Mac wouldn’t we hear about it?