I have been visiting the same Apple Store for over a decade. I have seen it go through one renovation, a temporary location, and a major expansion. I remember the special moments of awe and wonder when I played with my first Macbook, iPod, iMac, iPhone, and iPad. The experience of the Apple Store always had an additive effect to the magic of the devices themselves. I have been a part of the “hero’s parade” as Apple Store employees applauded me down the center aisle of the store as I purchased the latest release of OS X. I have seen a Apple employee stand on top of a table in the middle of the Apple Store and engage the whole store in applauding a soon to be college student for getting accepted to the University of Texas and buying her first Mac.
The biggest change over the last decade was that it went from being my Apple Store to everyone’s Apple Store. Scott McNulty recently pointed out how much he dreads visiting the Apple Store. I empathize with his feelings to a certain extent, but I have also been able to find my own oasis in an Apple Store.
Apple’s next release of the iPhone, iPad, or Mac Pro will get me to the Apple Store for a hands on experience with the products, but over the last year I have noticed that what I do in the Apple Store has changed significantly. I walk right past the crowded tables with iPhones and iPad Mini’s and I head straight for my oasis in the Apple Store. That oasis is what I call the “complimentary devices” section. It looks like this:
An Oasis in the Apple Store, the “complimentary devices” section
As my product experience with Apple devices has evolved, so to has the place or product category I am the most interested in and excited about. That’s not to say am not excited about the next Apple product update or release, but when I am looking for that special moment of awe and wonder, as I had with each new product category Apple introduced, I now find my self making a beeline for the “complimentary devices” section of the storeα.
This section of the Apple Store isn’t crowded yet, but I think it is where you can find innovative new products to satiate you between releases of Apple Products. There will be plenty of predictions and rumors about what Apple will do next, but if I had to take an educated guess I think Apple’s next innovate product will come in the form of something that fits in with this class of devices. There is clear opportunity for a device in this category to become as staple to you as your iPhone. Even if I am wrong about that I think this class of devices is as important to Apple as the next great iOS app. I hint at this in my latest review of activity monitors and I know I am not the only one noticing this oasis in the Apple Store. You can also find people like Ernesto Ramirez from Quantified Self standing at this oasis looking at what he considers the future normal with these class of devicesβ.
Even with the over crowding of Apple Stores and challenges of checking out there is still no retail experience that comes close to an Apple Store. While it may not be my Apple store anymore I still have my section of the Apple Store that will keep me coming back.