Anecdotal Apple Update: Crowded Stores

This is admittedly a sample size of 1, but I was almost in the Apple store here in La Jolla on the weekend. I say “almost” because I walked in the door with my son to have a quick look around, and immediately turned around and left.

Why the speedy departure? Outrageously thick crowds, worse than I saw there last Christmas. Matter of fact, without a decent machete there was pretty much zero chance of getting ten feet past the entrance. Keep in mind this is in a store that been at the location for years.

Related info here.


  1. Paul,
    (I sent you this email over the weekend, but this seems like a good place to post it…)
    I have had an iPhone for about six weeks now. My wife’s primary cell phone (non-ATT carrier) literally broke into pieces yesterday, and she was due to fly from the Bay Area to LA today and back tomorrow. So I stopped by the Palo Alto Apple store last (Friday) night, bought a second iPhone for our family, came home, put the kids to bed, and tried to activate it. And tried. And tried. I got amusing error messages from iTunes, ranging from the suggestion that the ATT activation center was offline for maintenance, try back in an hour, in 47 minutes… in 9 minutes…, to assertions that the iTunes store was inaccessable.
    Still didn’t work this (Saturday) AM. So, I called ATT. After a few minutes on hold, I explained my problem. They transferred me (at their suggestion), to Apple. A few more minutes on hold. Then, the Apple rep read me an email to the effect that the ATT activation center for iPhones for iPhone customers in CA, NV, and one other state (Oregon)? was out of service for scheduled maintenance from 10 PM LAST NIGHT to 4 AM MONDAY MORNING. She explained that they had just been sent this email this morning. She also volunteered her view that
    likely the geographic scope of this “scheduled outage” on activations was at least the continental US.
    Lesson: Customer Service: Don’t do this to your customers, and, if you must, figure out how to do it briefly, like for a few hours or at most overnight, not for a whole weekend. Further, communicate it in advance to your distribution and support channels, and make sure that you don’t play pass the buck with customers…
    Query: Could this be related to either one or more of three orthogonal
    iPhone-related rumors, that:
    a) European iPhones will be announced next week
    b) the iPhone / iPod Touch iTunes store will go live next week
    c) an iPhone software update will be out next week
    Props to your great iGreed web site / blog / community…
    PS – It still wasn’t up at 04:00 this morning; it is finally up now (it came up around 09:30)

  2. I assume you mean the Apple store in the UTC mall. Only a real-estate agent would refer to UTC east of the 5 as La Jolla. But I guess we got to keep up appearances.

  3. Yeah, you know that is a source of puzzlement to me as well. I’m continually amazed that the UTC people get away with calling that area “La Jolla”. It’s more like “congestion-and-density central”, but I digress.

  4. Paul good anecdotal evidence. Bernake’s cut can’t get here fast enough ehh?

  5. Yeah, last weekend we were at the Stanford (Palo Alto) mall and tried to stop in the Apple store to look at a Mac Book. Completely full of people, we didn’t even bother to go in the door.
    And, even though we already have SEVEN ipods, I will buy an ipod touch at Christmas.
    Apple is crushing it right now…

  6. SEVEN ipods? unless your one of the Brady Bunch
    (sorry about the esoteric 60s reference) I would
    say Apply is more like a drug dealer than “crushing
    Somebody should organize a charity to send used
    ipods to deserving kids in “developing” countries…

  7. The apple store on Michigan ave in Chicago has been here for years, the place is always a madhouse — anytime, any day.
    I would always think it is just people browsing not buying, but the cashier line is always very long. You just cant be in that store and not think apple is crushing it right now…