Waiting in line

Many people dislike waiting in line for Apple products, or condemn those who do as fanatics, divorced from reality. I enjoy it, and this article about Parisian fans articulates why:

“‘It’s amazing to come here and see the show. Apple is a big company, and they do the party well,’ said [customer] Marieke Loppin, a Parisian who’s buying an iPad for her fiance and headed to the Apple store to ‘enjoy the moment.’  ‘It was nice for the Apple staff to talk to us,’ said [shopper Caroline Belin] ‘We had some coffee.'”

I agree. Standing around can be a bore, especially if the weather is unpleasant, but I usually end up talking to interesting people in line. It’s a good time.

YBUY lets customers try an iPad for 30 days


“YBUY, the new try-before-you-buy online subscription service, announced today that it will be carrying Apple’s third generation iPad, starting today at www.ybuy.com. Orders placed today will be shipped to customers before April 1, 2012. YBUY, which officially launched in January, gives consumers a chance to test drive the latest in electronics, home and kitchen gadgets for 30 days before they commit to purchase.”

Back when I sold cars, this was known as the Puppy Dog Close. “Look, just take him home for the night, then come back tomorrow and tell me you don’t want him.” Worked 99% of the time.

And iPads won’t even wet on the floor.

[Via Boy Genius Report]

Apple Store app updated with “account” feature

Apple has released version 2.1 of its Apple Store app for iPhone (free). A new “account” feature lets users update their billing and shipping information right from the app. Until now, you had to open a browser to make those changes. Version 2.1 also introduces the app to the Netherlands.

I recently used the app’s EasyPay feature at the Hingham, Ma Apple Store. It felt so much like stealing, that I was compelled to show an employee what I bought before I left. “It’s OK,” she said. “We trust you.”

Time machine – Apple to open retail chain

Here’s an article published by The Wall Street Journal on Sept. 29, 2000, describing Apple’s new retail initiative:

“A retail chain could help Apple boost sales — an important concern after the company surprised Wall Street late yesterday by announcing that its quarterly revenue and profit will be far lower than expected.

A chain of Apple stores would help bolster what many see as a weakness in Apple’s strategy: distribution…’Distribution is one facet of Apple’s business that deserves management attention,’ said David Bailey, an analyst at Gerard Klauer Mattison & Co. If Apple doesn’t develop more distribution channels, he said, ‘that could potentially hamper Apple’s growth.’

Mission accomplished.

Sprint Q4 2011 results: 1.8 Million iPhones sold

Sprint has announced its Q4 2011 financial results. In short, it attracted a lot of new iPhone customers. Specifically, the press release revealed that Sprint sold 1.8 million iPhones, 40% of which went to new customers.

“Strong revenue growth and cost management partially offset the impact of increased equipment net subsidies and sales expense associated with the successful launch of the iPhone. Forty percent of Sprint’s 1.8 million iPhone sales in the fourth quarter were to new customers. Based on internal estimates, including incremental costs associated with iPhone sales, the combined impact of iPhone and Network Vision costs reduced fourth quarter Adjusted OIBDA* margin, which was 10.8 percent, by approximately 8.8 percentage points.”

Clearly, the iPhone 4S is a huge disappointment.

[Via MacStories]

The mother of all wrong predictions

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60 percent or 70 percent or 80 percent of them, than I would to have 2 percent or 3 percent, which is what Apple might get.”

You’ve seen this, of course, but it bears repeating after yesterday’s announcements. In fact, Apple’s iPhone business alone now generates more revenue than all of Microsoft.

How’s the chowder, Mr. Ballmer?

iPad users download 3 billion apps

ABI Research:

“​iPad users are estimated to have cumulatively downloaded three billion applications since the launch of the iPad in 2010. This was 19% of all cumulative downloads by Apple users. The iPhone took as long as two years before being able to achieve this level of downloads, while the iPad made it within nearly a year and a half. In comparison, Android tablets only have around 440 million downloads thus far.”

To recap: Android is winning and the iPhone 4S is a failure. Neat.

[Via The Loop]