Apple opens a new store

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

 

Apple have recently opened up one of their famous stores in Australia in the Sydney CBD.

 

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I went along to check it out, after hearing all the hype, people waiting out the front for days before it opened, I was quite struck by the fact that anyone would want to do a sleep out for a retail outlet, I mean imagine pitching a tent in the CBD just to wait for a store to open to buy an ......this really demonstrates the power of the Apple hype machine and it's influence over the compulsive and the obsessed.

         

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                                       I know one of these Mac Geniuses....Can you guess which one ?

 

Going into the store was quite a pleasant experience, the staff are friendly and being a new and significantly hyped store, there was quite a reasonable amount of human traffic. The store itself is a show case for all the major Apple products and uses a minimalist layout to demonstrate the clean streamlined approach that Apple takes towards it's products

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There are three levels all up, the ground floor being a display for the and iMac , the first floor show cases the and the second floor is the Genius bar where you can ask formal or informal questions regarding Apple products and see a few more .

There where three things that did surprise about the store, the first was that there was very little in the way of shelf items e.g. boxes and things you could examine, when I go into a store I like the idea of seeing the box that you will be taking home, the weight of it and the miscellaneous information that surrounds it. The only part of the store that was doing this was the first floor and mostly for the iPod product.

The second was the , one of the most anticipated products to be released in Australia was no where to be seen, sure you have the touch iPod to play around with but considering that it is due to be released on the 11th of July with 3G capabilities with new network features, surely this could warrant even some promotional material or a QuickTime movie demonstrating some of the upcoming features, I guess they will just have those Mac fans lining up all over again.....

The third is the Mac Pro, I just couldn't find one anywhere in the store, There's no difference between one of these beasts and the iMac's in terms of the OS but it would have been interesting to have a look at one of these bad boys and play around with some of the features or seen a demonstration of it's power in use.

          

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So does the Apple store live up to the hype ? Well if your looking for a nice place to shop and to spend an hour musing over Apple products and seeing all thing iPod related then.....Yes it sure does!  But if your looking for the latest cutting edge technology, need to get a good deal on an external hard drive, or looking for that fun novelty factor in playing the latest game then....No you may just need to look elsewhere. Will I be sleeping out in the CBD, to be the first to see Apples next latest gadget....not a chance!     

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A little bit about Apple...

To many Apple computers have an almost cult like status in the world of electronics, partly because of their extensive history in the market place and partly due their extensive focus on quality and design. In the past when you bought an Apple Mac, you where making a switch away from the mainstream of computers and going over to a dedicated platform, with high quality products but with limited choices.

Apple users today still only represent a small portion of the over all market, but since bringing on board Intel as their main CPU manufacturer and developing technologies that improve compatibility between the Windows & Linux platforms, there have been considerable in roads towards the sale of their computers and market share.

This movement has also been bolstered by the sale of the iPod and iTunes, which sits on both the Windows and Apple platform, have given users a taste for the Apple experience. Combine that with the release of Safari (Apples proprietary Internet browser) on the Windows platform, which claims high speed web page rendering and similar features to Firefox 3.0 and Internet Explorer 7 and you can begin to see that Apple are making a real push to getting computer users to adopt their products and their ideas on the digital lifestyle.

In fact when trying to decide which platform to go with when I was recently upgrading to a laptop, it really came down to the wire on the choice between getting a Mac or Vista machine. Vista won out because of compatibility and flexibility of its platform plus the cost of an Apple Laptop was prohibitive due to the pricing structure that Apple have in place with exchange rates. But the Mac was a serious contender, it was possibly my love for adventure games, emulation software which kept me on the Windows side of the fence.

Perhaps if Apple can improve it's standing in running applications from other platforms, like running Windows applications natively in OS X with high compatibility and can additionally lower the price of their hardware and make their operating system more open to customisation....They maybe begin to get a serious ground swell of people moving over to their platform in the home PC market.

To contend with the enterprise market though, Apple would need to make OS X available to be installed on any type of hardware in a similar way that Windows and Linux are installed, until that bridge is crossed Apple will never be able to fully realise it's potential for providing software for business or large companies and this will primarily come down to businesses being able to negotiate the cost of hardware to achieve the best price for their needs and making use of legacy PC office equipment.

Mr Jobs, time to open up the Apple platform….

 

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