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Just a Thought - Apple Store: 240 Hours A. i. R. (After iPhone Release)
Wednesday, July 11th, 2007 at 8:00 AM - by
Well, it's been a bit more than a week since the launch of the iPhone and you'd think that the hubbub surrounding Apple's new consumer device would have diminished, and it has to some extent. Instead of falling away to a silence normally reserved for libraries, funerals, or the launch of the Zune, however, the clamor around the iPhone, and to a large degree, anything Apple, remains high.
Just how high?
I decided to go see for myself. I stopped in to one of the two local Apple Stores here in Orlando just to see if anything has changed since the iPhone release. (I went to the Florida Mall store and not My Store in The Mall at Millenia -- just trying to be fair.)
Apple Store, Florida Mall, Orlando, 9 days after iPhone Day
As soon as I rounded the corner I could see that the normally busy store was abuzz with activity; much more so than normal.
The bulk of the activity was around the iPhone display, where eight of the devices were getting a marathoner's workout. There were people standing three deep waiting to play with the device. At the register I saw two iPhones bought in the space of no more than 3 minutes. Outside the store people stopped and watched the iPhone display go through its paces. Most folks seem to recognize the phone and that it was more than just a phone. A very good thing.
Crowds around the iPhone display are to be expected, even weeks after the introduction of the device. The biggest difference between the night of the introduction and now, however, is the increased traffic in other areas of the store. Almost every Mac station was occupied, the iPod area had at least a half dozen browsing, the Genius Bar geniuses were working overtime. In fact, all of the Apple Store employees were hustling to keep up with customer demand.
One of the quieter moments at the iPhone display
There were other differences as well. The police presence was gone, or at least gone from prominence. During the iPhone release you could see cops everywhere, now I would suspect they would just be in the way.
Also missing is the massive number of sales people that were around during the release weekend; Apple had insured that there would be more than enough salespeople on hand to keep things moving. The sales force in this Apple Store seems to have returned to its normal complement, and I think the poor folks were outgunned. Normally, when I walk into an Apple Store I can find a free salesperson in just a minute or so. When I walked in this time I looked a good 5 minutes before I found a free employee, and he seemed harried, though cordial.
Lots of interest in all things Apple
During my visit I did not see one person complaining about an iPhone purchase or activation. I suspect AT&T has pretty much straightened out all of the kicks encountered during the phone's release, and now people are actually using the device.
So, it's busy, busy, busy at Apple these days, and it's bound to get busier as the start of a new school year approaches.
One thought, if you really need to get some personal attention amidst the ruckus in your local Apple Store you might consider scheduling (pronounced, "shed-u-ling) a one-on-one shopping session with an Apple salesperson. Personal Shopping gets you exclusive face time with Apple folks who will answer questions and help you decide what, out of Apple's precipitously protracting procession of products, is right for you.
Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He's been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.
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