Apple’s biggest launch of the year may have been last week or something

“Last week, Apple unveiled its Today at Apple concept. This involves concerts and free classes at Apple stores. Its spirit is to entice you in, not to buy products but to be part of the brand, and to allow the brand to be part of you,” Chris Matyszczyk writes for CNET. “It’s hard to overstate how important this actually may be, because it’s an example of Apple anticipating the world as it’s becoming, not as it is or was.”

“Look at the Today at Apple ad launched last week and you won’t see one instance of selling and buying,” Matyszczyk writes. “As online purchase becomes normal for just about every product on earth, the concept of a physical store ceases to revolve around basic transactions… So what will the stores now be for? For everything that happens when you’re not buying the product. They’ll exist to bind you to the brand on a more consistent basis, not just when a new iPhone launches or your old iPhone needs fixing. They’ll exist to make you believe Apple isn’t a brand that sells products, but a club to which you’ve purchased membership.”

Matyszczyk writes, “Look back in a few years’ time and I fancy you’ll find that this launch seems like the stamp of a new direction, one in which people’s relationship with Apple materially changed, far more than it did with the launch of the iPhone 8.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If a reworked retail initiative – has everyone forgotten that Apple Stores have offered free workshops since inception? – is Apple’s “biggest launch of the year,” sell your shares ASAP.

The Apple stores offer an amazing new way to buy a computer. Rather than just hear about megahertz and megabytes, customers can now learn and experience the things they can actually do with a computer, like make movies, burn custom music CDs, and publish their digital photos on a personal website.Apple CEO Steve Jobs announcing the opening of Apple’s first retail stores, May 15, 2001

Apple Retail Store tree planter seats
Apple Retail Store tree planter seats
So, what’s next? Are the Apple Stores’ too-high, leg-dangling, thrombosis-inducing tree planters* going to save the rainforest?

Chris, let’s try to get a grip on reality, shall we? This world is drowning in more than enough fevered, delusional hyperbole already.

* If the tree’s rootball requirements are too high to accommodate ergonomic seating for anyone other than Shaquille O’Neal, then the design concept fails. Ditch the idea. Don’t go off on a merry hunt for soft corinthian leather on which to blow some more budget while claiming a U.S. patent on it.

‘Today at Apple’ bringing new experiences to every Apple Store – April 25, 2017
Apple is overhauling its stores, and wants them to be the new Starbucks, says Angela Ahrendts – April 25, 2017


      1. apple c-suite is soooo out of touch, struggling to stay relevant and protecting their way over priced compensation packages, I just hope they are replaced esp AA

  1. There’s a lot of hollow sentiment at the Today at Apple events.

    Sure there’s some good. However it’s very cookie cutter style events, not unlike Home Depots builder events for kids. It’s a form of indoctrination. Same stuff day in day out, at both my Apple Stores. In the mean time, the good events will be held at flagship stores, where you’re lucky to get a seat.

    What Apple needs to do is have events like these, with under the radar guests. They come in a share their knowledge to an unsuspecting public. The local university professor comes to give a class, giving back to the public for an hour or so. Each Apple Store’s events would be unique and purposeful, uniting the skilled with the unskilled.

    Just my thoughts.

    1. Considering that the last time that I was in an Apple Store (to replace a frayed iPad cable) and I actually got a “You’re holding it wrong” speech from the sales rep …

      — sorry kid, I’m a ME and I can recognize designs with inadequate stress relief —

      … such negative experiences means that there’s now even less that I’ll trust an Apple Store Staff to consult with anymore.

      1. I don’t know exactly how you were “doing it wrong”, and I don’t know about your exchange with the Apple Store sales rep, but I have a feeling that there is a chance that (s)he was at least partially correct when telling you what you’re doing that’s causing cable fraying. If we look at the Apple’s Lightning cables, they all have fairly standard (actually, a bit more robust than average) stress relief around the plugs. Let us also not forget that hundreds of millions of users are holding onto their cables for years without any serious damage.

        This isn’t really about personality; it is plain physics. If you keep bending the cable hard at the same point day after day, you will inevitably cause it to break at that point, and no amount of stress relief will help you there. I have seen quite a few people who take their phone, with the cable plugged in, and then wind it tightly around the phone, tugging hard (and bending) the cable at the end by the plug. There is no way to design cable stress relief solution that will prevent breakage if the user constantly tugs and winds the cable in the same way.

        Again, I’m speaking about a general trend, not knowing what was your specific experience.

        1. > I don’t know exactly how you were “doing it wrong” …

          In essence, they said that one should never use any iOS device while it is plugged in.

          > If we look at the Apple’s Lightning cables, they all have fairly standard (actually, a bit more robust than average) stress relief around the plugs.

          Yes, the tons of clones have copied Apple right down to the *minimal* stress relief collar … but there are some 3rd party vendors who sell better quality cables of their own design.

          Overall, this is merely YA manifestation of Apple minimalism, seeking to make even the cable thinner. That’s not a particularly bad thing — until Form impedes Function.

          > If you keep bending the cable hard at the same point day after day …

          Sure, but that’s not my use case. 50 years ago, I was that OCD kid who was constantly untwisting the phone cord on the rotary phone that others had knotted up … and because of that, my equipment generally lasts figuratively forever.

          In a decade, I never even had one Blackberry USB cable fail, but the Apple iOS cables are trending to lasting only around 18 months before they go. From a reliability statistics standpoint, the difference is so striking that I don’t need to bother doing a formal Engineering analysis to conclude that they suck: the Apple Brand is where the deficiency is … and from a Mechanical Engineering design standpoint (and yes, “I are an Engineer’) the design’s trade-off of reliability vs cost is quite painfully obvious.

          And disappointing.

      2. Apple Store staff are script kiddies. I don’t mean hacks, but they follow a certain line. So you won’t get expert service like you might get at a mom and pop shop but they do get some training.

        I have never trusted an Apple Store contact. However they do have access to tools I don’t. So that’s something.

        Example, as a developer with access to AppleSeed, you totally lose them. But if you need a battery replaced or a screen replaced, they are okay. Off script or there’s no service recall documentation? You are on your own.

        I will go as far to say. If they agreed with you about your cable, they couldn’t say so. It’s like, “Huh, never seen that happen before.” It’s just their way.

        1. Oh, I understand the pressure to conform to ‘party line’ on topics, but the problem with having the corporate policy be one of denial is that there’s this thing now called the Internet, where customers exchange information, and compare notes to find where the suppliers stonewall.

          That’s why the “Huh, never seen that happen before” line gets weak…

          …and its also how its predecessor of “Golly, you’re the first person that this has ever happened to!” can quickly be revealed as deliberate lies.

          All in all, the Apple iOS cable fails quite quickly despite how much care you may give it – – figure one plug in per day, and we’re talking about a reliability of < 1E3 cycles.

          1. MacRumors – Forums, that’s where the rubber hits the road, no way Apple doesn’t know about the problem. But they fake it just the same. If you can’t get them to admit a problem, then they might get away with, “You’re holding it wrong…” Etc, making you feel like an idiot, but simply pissing you off instead. But with that said, they are still the best option on the market, and between iFixIT, and Batteries Plus Bulbs, there are options, you just have to pay for that f-ing cable in the mean time. That’s why I leave my Apple Cables in the box, (for resale) and use third party cables, such as Anker. I know I am taking responsibility, but it’s turned out okay so far.

  2. the tree planter seat is the Mac Cylinder, Mac Mini, Apple TV Remote design manifesto: Looks trump Practicality.

    they could have made a ring foot rest at the bottom of the planter but it would have destroyed the ‘symmetry’ (or whatever) so.. want to use it jump up…

    (for those who don’t know about the Mac Mini, they neutered a reasonably good design by eliminating the Quad Core and soldering the previously-upgradeable RAM : to make a Desktop ‘thinner’… why a DESKTOP needs to be an inch or so smaller and lose so much.. ? )

    Having two art degrees (and hundreds art and design books) I should be one of those cheering aesthetics but I think it’s gone too far off the ‘looks’ deep end …

  3. I did one of the Photography Walks at the Apple Store yesterday (Saturday) and LOVED it. About 5 of us on the walk. It was a lot of fun and afterwards we air-dropped our photos to the leader and he we all walked through them on a TV screen at the store. It was a great time and I learned some things!

  4. I think that Apple should improve their stores by actually bringing in people who don’t bullshyte their customers. I hope your Apple Store is not as bad as mine. Bought an Apple Watch for my wife. Didn’t work properly out of the box. She thought that maybe it was her fault that she wasn’t operating it properly (wouldn’t hang up after a phone call). Called the store for a Genius appointment but they were so busy it took a week. Just before the appointment, she scratched the glass. Apple basically accused her of trying to get it replaced and that the problem was caused by the scratch. She felt humiliated, I was angry and told him that the scratch is not affecting anything. Got some stupid, condescending analogy about it being a sensitive piece of equipment blah blah. My wife also had apple care. It cost her $100 to send the watch off for repair and that does not even include fixing the glass.
    I am upset and will be writing Apple. Gone are the days where they ‘cared’.

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