The Apple Store sucks
By Lukas Hauser
September 5, 2001

Last weekend, I stopped by the Boston-area Apple store on its opening day. That shit sucked.

Every Mac chump seems to be masturbating in the Apple store's feces. "This store is GREAT!!!" "Wow, I was REALLY impressed with the layout of the Apple store!" "This store is GREAT FOR APPLE!"

Fuck each and every one of you. Go back to shopping at the Gap.

Now, I'll admit that the idea of the Apple store has some promise. It had promise 3 years ago when I wrote to Steve with the same exact specifications for an Apple store that we just got now. But Apple is dropping the ball on this one. Maybe even both of its balls.

Contrary to this feel-good delusion shared by most Mac nerds, the Macintosh platform is in more danger than ever before. Why? Mostly because no respectable teenager would be caught dead with a Mac these days.

This wasn't always true, obviously. But Saturday I was struck most by the fact that most of the Mac nerds waiting in line at the Northshore store's opening were over 50 years old. FIFTY FUCKING YEARS OLD. If I were a Sum 41-listening teenage punk, I'd get my ass as far away from an Apple store and its old-ass user base as possible.

But the indignity of having old computer users wait in front of a computer store wasn't enough for Apple. It had to go and hire old computer SALESMEN to work at the fucking place. Goddamnit.

The youth is the future, Apple! You need to immediately create a task force at Apple whose mission is to dramatically shift the Mac demographic to 11-18 year olds. How do you do this, mostly? Games, of course.

But judging from the pathetic selection of software at the Northshore store, Apple has no clue of this. Jesus Christ, there were twice as many fucking CHILDREN's programs on the shelves as there were games for post-adolescents! (A fine distinction, to be sure.) The ugly-as-fuck primary colors of shit like "Bobo the Clown Teaches the Alphabet" completely overshadowed the product boxes of other games. Hey Apple, you have a children's section! Keep the fucking children's software in the children's section. Its dominating presence in the non-children's aisle was an embarassment of the highest order. Again, if I were a teenager I'd never step foot in an Apple store. It's like Apple is exclusively targeting kids under 8 and senior citizens over 80.

So, some suggestions for Apple regarding its lame-ass store:

Again, get all children's software out of the main software aisle and into the children's section. Don't perpetuate the valid notion that Macs are for babies.

Get more games. Sure, computer games are for losers. But them's the breaks. Overwhelm the visitor with 100s and 100s of games. They exist. It's imperative that Apple always have EVERY SINGLE Mac game there is at its stores. Here's a small sampling of games that Apple DIDN'T have at the Northshore location: Myst III: Exile, Riven, Myst, Myst III, SimCity 3000, Myth II, Civilization 2 Gold, Warcraft 2 Battle Chest, StarCraft: Battle Chest, StarCraft Expansion Pack: Brood War, Unreal Tournament, Diablo, You Don't Know Jack Snack Pack, Star Trek Deep Space Nine: The Fallen, Master of Orion 2, Railroad Tycoon 2 Gold, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Star Trek Starship Creator Warp 2, Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Collector's Series, Last Call, Terminus, Rogue Spear, Redneck Rampage, Descent 3, Star Trek Klingon Honor Guard, Quake, Quake 2, Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now, Madden 2000, Links LS 2000.

Have "Oni" or something playing on the new G4 that you had on display in the window. The G4 that was on a pedestal in the window instead had on its monitor a picture of... itself.

Turn the store into an AirPort wireless lounge, and advertise this fact. No PC notebooks allowed. Get big couches in the front. Maybe serve Snapple while you're at it. Get it? (When Microsoft bought a chunk of Apple back in '97, a Microsoft employee told me that the joke in Redmond was: "Apple? I thought we were buying 'Snapple'!!!".)

One of Apple's most important and hip markets is sound engineering. Bjork goes on and on in this month's SPIN magazine about how she loves her Mac because of the way it runs ProTools. Yet the Apple store didn't have ProTools for sale! This is like not having Photoshop for sale. Apple, get ProTools in your store -- even if its just a low-end version -- and have it featured in the "pro" section. I can't stress enough how important this would be in convincing the majority of musicians out there who use PCs that they should walk out of the Apple store with a ProTools workstation in hand.

Another embarrassing thing was that the t-shirts Apple gave out were size XXL. Stop making these shirts so fucking unwearable! Who's your intended audience with these things? The comic-book store owner from The Simpsons? Give out MEDIUM shirts next time. Sure, you won't have as many fat dorks wearing the Apple logo. But that's a good thing. (Note: when you get around to the SoHo location, make sure you give out SMALL size "I Love N.Y." shirts. That's what the kids are wearing, you jackasses.)


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