After Steve Jobs, the original Mac, and the iPhone, launch day queues have to be one of the most recognisably Apple phenomenons of them all: something which speaks not only to the crazy number of sales Apple makes, but also to the devotion of its fanbase.
Recently it looked as if Angela Ahrendts was trying to permanently change-up Apple culture — sending an email to Apple Store employees which proclaimed, “The days of waiting in line and crossing fingers for a product are over for our customers.”
Fortunately, to paraphrase Mark Twain, it seems fears that Apple would do away with the excitement of launch day lines have been greatly exaggerated.
Last month, we reported that the Apple Watch boasted a secret port that could be used in the future to unlock cool accessories… and, maybe, jailbreak the Apple Watch. Later reports, though, indicated that this port was an Apple-only diagnostic port, that could be missing from retail models.
If that’s true, though, no one told Apple’s retail stores. The Apple Watch units available for try-on appointments at Apple Stores around the world still have the diagnostic port.
The $10,000 gold Apple Watch Edition, the first and only time I will probably ever wear an expensive time piece. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
CHICAGO — I grabbed the black suit jacket I was married in because I wasn’t sure how to dress for a private appointment to try on a $10,000 gold watch.
My look is challenging to class up. The clean-shaven head, long goatee and ample belly blend in better at a biker bar. But I felt halfway respectable-looking when I walked into the Apple Store in Chicago’s upscale Lincoln Park neighborhood for a Saturday morning hands-on showing of the Apple Watch Edition.
Not many Apple Stores are scheduling appointments for the 18-karat gold Edition, but the ones that do provide extra-special attention. I had a friendly guide, two floor supervisors who came by to shake my hand and thank me for my patience, and a couple of hawk-eyed security guards.
Want to try on the super-fancy $10,000 Apple Watch Edition? You might have to do a bit of driving, because in a whopping 75 percent of the United States, it’s totally impossible to demo the solid gold Apple smartwatch.
Only 12 states (and the District of Columbia) have Apple Stores taking appointments to check out the Apple Watch Edition. That leaves 38 states that are apparently not fancy or fashionable enough to offer demos of the schmanciest Apple Watch of all. To see if you live in one of them, check out Cult of Mac’s handy map below, but be prepared to weep.
Shannon Stroh, of Plymouth, Minn., tries on an Apple Watch at the downtown Chicago store. Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac
CHICAGO — It didn’t matter that Mel Torgusen had already ordered her Apple Watch at 2 a.m.
She still had to be at the Apple Store on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile at 10 sharp — just to touch one.
“Ever since the announcement, I’ve been counting down the days,” said Torgusen, standing at one of a dozen stations the store had set up for prospective buyers to try the watch. “I’m an Apple person and I didn’t need to try it on to know I’d want one.”
A steady stream of the curious and devoted filed into the store Friday for the big Apple Watch preview. There were about 20 people who had signed up for the early appointments lined up outside the store when the doors opened. Others who did not schedule appointments for a personal tour went past a showcase of watches, then quickly registered for private showings.
Apple’s existing Westlake Store in Hangzhou, China. Photo: Foster + Partners
April 24 isn’t just about the Apple Watch. If you live in China, it’s also the day on which the second brick-and-mortar Apple Store opens in Hangzhou — following hot on the heels of the recently-opened gorgeous West Lake store in the city’s Shangcheng District.
The new store is located in the city’s Jianggan District, in a MixC mall that is also home to a number of high-end brand stores and upmarket eateries.
Welcome to the Apple Store. Would you like to buy a Samsung? Photo: NelkFilmz
I’ve always found the people who work in Apple Stores to be incredibly helpful and, considering that their job is to sell you on expensive products, honest. One thing that’s never happened to me, however, is having an Apple Store employee suggest that I consider choosing a Samsung handset or Windows Phone over an Apple device.
But that’s exactly what happened the day that YouTube pranksters NelkFilmz dressed up as Apple employees and hit their local Apple Store, with the aim of selling Surfaces instead of iPads. They’re quickly weeded out by the real store employees, of course — at which point things just get awkward.
The Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston boasts a remarkable spiral staircase. Photo: Joseph Thornton/Flickr CC
If you’ve ever walked into a flagship Apple Store unconvinced of the magic of Cupertino’s products, a wondrous curvy, glass staircase might have softened your psyche.
Apple’s retail outlets are almost as well known for award-winning architecture and eye-catching staircases as for the MacBooks, iPads and iPhones on sale. But Apple Stores aren’t the only places to make vertical trips seem like a magical journey.
Trading up from an Android to iPhone is about to get a lot easier, as Apple plans to incentivize switchers by offering Apple Store credit to customers who bring in their old non-iOS devices for trade.
Apple plans to expand its iPhone Reuse and Recycling Program to include non-iOS devices, reports Buzzfeed’s John Paczkowski, who says Apple Stores will soon take everything from Blackberry’s to Windows Phone handsets.