Employees ejected a group of black teens from a Melbourne, Australia, Apple Store this week, telling them that store staff were “just worried you might steal something.” One of the boys, Francis Ose, posted a video of the incident on Facebook with the title “Simply Racism—made them apologize tho.”
In New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and elsewhere, Apple fans have been gathering and leaving spontaneous tributes to Steve Jobs at Apple Stores throughout the night. People have left flowers, signs, Post-it notes, and even writing right on the glass walls. Here are a few of the images circulating on Twitter and elsewhere.
Aviv Hadar, who writes about Apple at MacBlogz.com, got curious about how one joined Steve Jobs's elite priesthood — so he applied for a gig at the local Apple Store, and landed it. The interview process was revealing: According to the manager Hadar talked to, most of his current staff couldn't pass a test with 20 basic technical questions about Apple hardware and software. Some Geniuses! But Apple had set itself up for exactly this kind of comeuppance the day it labeled its stores' repair department the "Genius Bar." Here's the offer letter Hadar got:
Hidden in the math of a Fortune summary of a report from investment bank Piper Jaffray: Apple Store sales only account for 2 of every 5 iPhones sold. AT&T stores sell one in five, and overseas phone stores sell the other 2. Using Piper Jaffray's estimates, you can summarize sales for the upcoming Xmas-gift-driven last quarter of the year as: 2 million through Apple's own stores, 1 million through AT&T, and 2 million elsewhere in the world. Then factor in your Best Buy prediction. What I want to know: What's 2 million times the average wait time in an iPhone line? (Chart by Piper Jaffray)
After a rocky iPhone 3G launch, Apple's store operations have returned to a model of efficiency. One of Steve Jobs's secrets: roving sales clerks who use mobile devices to ring up orders anywhere in the store, not just at the cash register. Ah, but which devices? Motorola MC75 handhelds running Microsoft's Windows Mobile operating system.
LiveJournaler akil writes of a recent visit to the Apple Store, where a new, streamlined process for iPhone buying was in effect: "They started prequalifying people at 6:30 a.m. Within three minutes of arriving, I was given a serialized tag that is linked to an actual iPhone and I'm guaranteed to get one." Separately, an Apple employee who gives his name only as "David G." says Steve has asked him to post regularly on the status of Apple's buggy MobileMe service. (Photo by akil)
A tipster snapped this late-night shot of Apple's Union Square store being overhauled. You — yes, you waiting in line with your old iPhone — send us photos of the results when the store opens at 10, willya? Separately, we've been told that Apple Store employees at the San Francisco flagship cut off would-be buyers who arrived after 5:30 p.m. Shoppers timed the morning line at 2.5 hours yesterday. That's even more time than I spend watching my BlackBerry reboot.
[Editor's note: Tim Woolery, aka Tim the IT Guy, works hands-on in IT in the Bay Area. With nearly 15 years' experience at everything from CAT 5-cabled steel furnaces to intercontinental remote-controlled radio stations, Tim's able to spot and plug holes in the coverage of important tech news. Rather than bone up on change management best practices ourselves, we decided to let Tim post for himself once a week.]
Apple sold its one millionth 3G iPhone on Sunday, reports the company. That's up from about 300,000 sold over the first three days of the first iPhone launch. “iPhone 3G had a stunning opening weekend,” said Apple CEO Steve Jobs, whom we're sure also wanted to say the weekend was "extraordinary," "incredible," "tremendous," and "unprecedented." Jobs said it took 74 days for Apple to sell as many of the first generation iPhones last year. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster — whose numbers you should take with a grain of salt as he incorrectly estimated Apple only sold 425,000 3G iPhones over the weekend — credited international availability and a 60 percent price cut for the 300 percent increase. Sales would have been even brisker, Munster noted, if it hadn't taken Apple 15 minutes to activate each iPhone. Last year it took only about 60 seconds. Still, we're glad it took so long, if only because we figure 15 minutes is the minimum amount of time needed for geek love to blossom as it did for one Apple store employee and the first iPhone buyer in line.
NEW YORK — Apple's iTunes store, required for activating the new iPhone 3G is failing, causing massive chaos from coast to coast. Even Apple employees are — when they don't realize a reporter is in earshot — acknowledging this. "I can't believe there's just so much stuff going wrong," says one employee at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store as he takes his lunch break sitting next to me. "It's not very Apple-like. It's shitty. It just shouldn't happen." His friend agrees: "I called my dad and his phone still doesn't work."
NEW YORK — Apple Store employees are a little tense today. They got nine hours of training preparing for today's iPhone 3G launch. Then there was all the press and hoopla when the day finally began. (I overheard two of them complaining about it: "I felt like I was going to vomit," one said. The other: "I felt like was as going to vomit too!") Then there was the crowd control. Then the iTunes Store, required to activate phones and thereby complete sales, went down. I snuck a hidden camera into the Fifth Avenue Apple Store and surveyed the chaos. Roll the clip. Meanwhile, here's a reader's account of an experience at an Apple Store in Walnut Creek, California: