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  • Album Of The Year

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    • Brother Love
    • Killer grooves, catchy riffs, edgy vocals with oh-so-just-right layered harmonies, and a drive that will move even YOU out of your chair, Brother Love's initial release is what rock and roll should be
  • Suspended Animation

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    • Fantomas
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      Suspended Animation

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  • The Last 5 Years (2002 Off-Broadway Cast)

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Just a Peek

Apple’s New Best Buy ‘Shops’

Now, here’s something interesting: An Apple "Store within A Store" in Best Buy.

Apparently Apple and Best Buy are best buddies these days and Apple is putting exclusive areas inside many, if not all Best Buy stores, complete with real Apple sales people and, in some locations, Genius Bars.

You may have heard that Apple and Best Buy were testing the "Store in a store" program in some Best Buys. That program is being expanded, which is a good thing; history has shown that while the standard Best Buy salesperson may (or may not) have his or her heart in the right place, they are often clueless about anything Apple. Admittedly, that has changed somewhat -- many Best Buy salesfolks are closet Mac fans -- but using Macs and selling Macs are two entirely different things.

I stopped into a local Best Buy store, this one within walking distance of my home, and took a look around. It looks like someone cut off a piece of an Apple Store and pasted it in Best Buy. The new Apple area almost looks out of place; you pass by rows and rows of Dell and HP PCs and suddenly -- BOOM! -- you’re not in Kansas anymore.

Apple’s new Shops inside Best Buy

The new stores are called "Apple Shops" now and they continue the clean minimalist design of a real Apple Store. They even sport a large screen monitor that’s typical of Apple’s brick-n-mortar outlets.

This one had only one display table tastefully showing off MacBooks, Macbook Pros, and iMacs in both sizes (20-inch and 24-inch). No iPhones were available (yet) and no iPods were on display in the shop, though you could easily find iPods in another section of Best Buy. Shops in other Best Buys stores will have two display tables while still other stores will have a place for an Apple Genius to hold court.

What’s very cool is the Apple Shop is situated right next to Best Buy’s new and upscale Magnolia Store -- where they sell pricier electronics -- and they had setup one of their 50-inch plasma displays in the Magnolia Store with Apple TV. Photos slowly rotated in hi-def and in magnificent color, YouTube clips were grainy, but so big you didn’t care. It was eye catching, mesmerizing and extremely cool to watch. Apple and Best Buy are going to sell a million Apple TVs this coming Christmas. (Yo NBC: you guys might want to rethink your stand on selling shows on iTunes. Just a thought.)

There was an honest-to-goodness Apple person manning the shop when I walked up and he seemed very excited about Apple’s new arrangement with Best Buy. Even more telling, however, is that the Best Buy store manager was excited about the new Apple Shop. Some store salespeople are being trained in the ways of selling Apple, and even the Geek Squad is getting geared up to service Macs when called to do so.

Both Apple guy and store manager were typically closed-mouth about anything not on display, which I expected from the Apple guy, but was a bit surprised when I found that the manager was tight-lipped too. I guess Best Buy is learning a few things from Apple.

I mentioned the new Apple Shop to a friend of mine and he immediately rolled his eyes and asked, "Didn’t they try that before?"

"Not like this," I told him, and I honestly believe that. It really does look like Apple and Best Buy are taking this seriously, and this time, I think it will work.

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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