Nine in the morning and the place was packed. It was also quiet, the way a church is before the service begins. In one corner, a bunch of people were sitting around a table. They were taking a class on how to use their iPhones. Elsewhere people were regarding all the latest Apple stuff with reverence, gently passing their fingers over the glossy screens. There were murmured conversations about the iPad 3, the iPhone 5. Nobody talks loudly in an Apple Store, perhaps out of respect for the spirit of Steve Jobs, which is believed to inhabit all these places.
Also out of respect, I brought forth my own iPhone and contemplated my next move in Words With Friends. But I wondered: What are all these people doing here? Apple products last forever, so they shouldn’t need repair. Apple software never fails, so shouldn’t require troubleshooting. The Apple interface runs purely on instinct. And of course nothing was on sale. Yet here we all were.
In the end, one of the Genius bartenders decided the broken glass screen couldn’t be fixed. He sold Tess a new iPhone 4 for $150. When we left, it was with a vague sense of longing, the sense that we should have bought something more — perhaps a nice MacBook Air for $1,700. I don’t know, maybe we should have. It’s what Steve would have wanted. And you don’t get to his heaven on faith alone.
Dave! Hush! An Apple Store is no place for levity. It is a place to worship consumerism at its finest, soothed and inspired by the soft swish of crisp currency and the discreet chirp of the swipe machines. Only the Birds are allowed to be angry.