A lot of people were wondering why I looked like someone had seriously annoyed me on the photo I tweeted from the Apple Store.
Well, firstly I rarely tend to smile in photos — if I do, I feel I look like an Estate Agent. Second, I was mildly irritated.
I didn’t bother with the queue. I walked straight into the Apple Store via the main entrance to have a look around.
Then I asked a chap where I bought one. He explained that I needed to join the queue, gesturing to the side entrance of the Regent Street Store. There were a few security folk in high-vis vests standing about, along with some Apple Store folk. Metal barriers were in place.
But there was no queue.
“You need to queue up and get a ticket, sir,” the chap explained.
“There isn’t a queue?” I said.
(There was a small one inside the store but not outside)
We both turned to stare at the queue-less door.
The chap continued:
“Er yes but there’s a process and some people have queued up.”
“Can’t I just walk over there and get a ticket from that guy standing at the side entrance?” I asked. ”
“No, you need to go outside then come in that door,” the chap replied, indicating with his palm.
I thought I’d get some clarity.
“So you want me to go OUTSIDE to come in again?”
And that’s what I did.
This is how it goes with Apple isn’t it. You’re either IN or you’re out. There’s no half measures.
So I walked out, around two security barriers and immediately back in again.
An beaming Apple lady began to ask me what model I wanted. I cut in half way with the spec.
“Oh, you’re organised!” she said, passing me to another guy who gave me a ticket for the 32GB “4G” version.
(Laughable isn’t it, buying a 4G iPad in the UK)
And so I queued for about 10 minutes and then got the iPad and walked out.
I should probably have just ordered online. A lot of folk were getting a ton of value out of the experience, interacting excitedly with the cheery Apple staff.
I can’t fault the experience. It’s Apple and beyond the door/queue thing, it was perfect