My Second Apple Store Opening Experience

Few would that disagree that Apple retail stores seem to inspire enthusiasm few other retail outlets can. I don’t know if it is the Apple brand itself, the beautiful design and attention to detail of the stores, or just the free WiFi, but I have never yet been able to pay a visit to an empty Apple Store!

A new store opening is a particularly special occasion. I was lucky enough to go to the opening of the WestQuay store in Southampton, UK, back in 2007 — but this time, it was the turn of the new Festival Place store in Basingstoke, UK.

This new store is particularly convenient for me, being only a 20 minute train ride away. The peace of mind one gets from knowing that knowledgeable people and repairs are easy to access is particularly important. This is perhaps one of the things that sets the Apple retail store concept apart from other tech retailers — it genuinely is not just about making the sale, it’s about the whole experience, including sales, supporting new and old users, training, learning and repair. [Read more…]

iPad 2: The Wait and The Line

The Wait

When Steve Jobs announced iPad 2, I was immediately caught up in the reality distortion field: lighter! thinner! faster!

But what really got me was that the new device would be available a mere two weeks after the announcement. I was fully prepared to wait until mid-April before the device became available. Now, it was to be released on 11 March in the States. And I did not want to wait a day beyond the 11th.

OK, no problem. As I am currently working in New York during the week and flying back home to Chicago on Fridays, I figured I would pre-order and have it arrive on Friday. That’s how some people ordered the iPhone 4. However, Apple decided to change the rules a bit: no pre-orders UNTIL the 11th and in-store pick up starting at 5:00 pm local time. Uh, oh: I am on a plane at that point!

What to do, what to do? First, I asked my wife if she’d be willing to stand in line. After all, she’d benefit too: she’d get an iPad 2. She immediately agreed. She asked what time should she get there? I suggested sometime after 2:00 pm. She offered to head to the mall right after lunch! Wow, this reality distortion field is stronger than I realized. Second, I would try to fly standby and get home earlier and meet her in line. [Read more…]

Checking in from the iPad 2 line

Barry at the Northbrook Apple Store waiting to get his mitts on the new thinner, lighter, faster iPad 2

Review soon Barry?

 

UPDATE 3/11: And the store is open…