It’s all excitement in the Canberra Centre this morning as they ramp up to the 10am opening of Canberra’s first Apple Store (Australia’s 16th).
Apple’s PR man informed me the crowds started gathering at 5.30 this morning when, we suppose, it would have been warmer in the Canberra Centre than out of it.
(Incidentally if you want to know why Apple’s the most valuable company in the world it might include the sort of attention to detail that involves inviting the likes of me to a preview of their store opening)
Inside we were treated to a genuine American Apple employee with a speech about how “amazing”, “extra-ordinary” and “phenomenal” all the products and services inside the store are. No superlative was left undeployed (although a couple were repeated as we got to the 10 minute mark).
There was an awkward moment when they suggested I might like to download the Apple Store app onto my phone but they relented before I was forced to admit the shame of my Android phone (I’m typing this story on an iMac I promise).
There was also a demonstration of their in-phone payment system for store products through the app, although the lovely girl doing the demo was so nervous she nearly dropped the phone with her shaking hands. So yes, you can now buy a MacBook on iTunes which is a bit through-the-looking-glass.
My take on it is the store offers a couple of key improvements over the old retail model.
Firstly they’ve really gone all out getting accessories from third party vendors into the store.
But more important is the technical assistance they’re offering.
The capabilities of technology are staggering and expanding. But that’s not much use to us if we don’t know what we can use it for, let alone how to do it.
So the promise of the Apple Store is they’ll get your product set up and working before you leave the store, and offer ongoing support and training.
Also today if you’re one of the first thousand peeps through the door today they’ll give you this t-shirt:
C’mon, admit it.
It’s pretty cool.