I went to the Apple Store today with my wife. She was there to see if Apple can do something about certain software faults in her iPad that only surfaced recently. As I looked around the store, I couldn't help but feel uncomfortable. Sure, there are many other customers in the shop, and all of them seemed to be promptly attended to by the almost-equal number of Apple staff. The store looks bright and the staff are friendly.
I pondered why I didn't have the same thrill as the other customers. I normally love to browse in a computer shop; but I didn't feel that way in the Apple Store. In a regular computer shop or in an electronics shop, I am surrounded by products from many different manufacturers. Every product will have more than one manufacturer vying hard for my equally hard-earned dollars. I am in control there and I decide what is best for me.
In the Apple Store, I felt like a dumb consumer. Apple decides what is best for me. I just have to utter what I want to do and Apple will do the rest to get me equipped. This is not a geek hang-out place; I felt that the only geeky-looking people are the Apple staff. Their clients are all seeming newbies in a high-tech arena. I must say I felt out of place. I wonder if the Apple staff are trained to talk to people at the client's level of competence, rather than assume everyone is a noob.
Perhaps the Apple Store is designed for the segment of the public that still feels phobic about using a computer or a handheld device. The Apple Store doesn't quite work for me. Give me a regular computer shop any time.