The Apple Store's Pretty Little Lies

Apple is so positive in its ability to sell you a phone that it will in fact refuse to sell you a product that's in stock because you didn't acquire it online Find more info on sell my mobile here.

There's a particular sense of hubris that's pervaded Apple since the success of the original iPod, a little bit of arrogance shown by a few of company's policies, which are distinctly anti-consumer sometimes. From the virtually solid connection of iTunes to iDevices, to the long-standing ban on apps which duplicate native iDevice functionality (and which actually only serves to offer Apple a monopoly on on-device services), the company has, time and once again, formulated rules and regulations which appear to almost scream, "We can do whatever we want, because we understand you're going to buy our products anyhow.".

I witnessed a classic example of this tinge of arrogance earlier today, when a friend decided that she wanted to purchase an iPhone 6 (she's owned each and every single other iPhone also, so this minute was bound to take place earlier rather than later on). So like the loyal, well-trained Apple customer that she is, she called the designated hotline to inquire about stock levels at her store of choice (i.e. "do you have the phone, in any capability, in any color, at all?"). The operator she spoke with claimed that, yes, even at this late hour, a location on New York's Fifth Avenue did undoubtedly have stock of both the 64GB and 128GB versions of the regular 6 in space grey.

Since I get a vicarious adventure even from other individuals’ phone purchases, I decided to accompany her to the traditional Bohlin Cywinski Jackson-designed, glass-structure-topped underground store, for what need to have been a fast transaction. Instead, we were welcomed by a sales representative who told us---- without even having to examine store stock---- that they had no iPhone 6's in stock.

"But I just received confirmation over the phone that you do have stock," my disappointed buddy responded. "Oh, they tell everybody that, simply to get them to come into the store," the somewhat unaware salesperson suggested. After talking with a supervisor, whom we asked to physically confirm the lack of stock, we learned that more phones would be delivered at 6AM; however the precise capabilities and colors were unidentified.

At least, it seemed that the computer system utilized by the hotline operators was not synced, in real time, to real store inventory levels. That in and of itself would appear to be a failure on the part of Apple, whose items see such high need in the days and weeks after release that precise inventory tracking is absolutely important. However, a 2nd call to the hotline exposed that an even more discouraging policy was behind the mix-up.

This call, which was filled with apologies from the woman unfortunate adequate to be on the getting end of our unrelenting questioning, lastly revealed the root cause of the problem: the Fifth Avenue store did indeed have unsold iPhone 6's in stock, but those specific systems were reserved for people who bought them over the internet for later in-store pickup. Let me restate the keyword from that last sentence: unsold. Implying that these were not systems that had already been bought and paid for by consumers who had yet to recover them, however rather, a specific allocation of devices set aside for folks who might purchase them online at some later date/time.

In other words Apple is so confident in its capability to sell you a phone that it will really refuse to sell you a product that's in stock because you didn't acquire it in a certain way. Of course, had my friend been informed this at the store, she could have easily purchased the brand-new iPhone utilizing her old iPhone to make an internet purchase with the in-store pickup choice. For some unidentified reason, Apple employees are advised to let consumers walk away empty-handed---- even with unclaimed devices on-hand and, technically, available for purchase.

So my buddy then bought her iPhone in the proposed way, and sure enough, received confirmation that it was readily available for pickup at the Fifth Avenue store, hours before that supposed 6AM restock. At that point she was too far from the store, and too exhausted, to declare her purchase till later that day, anyhow.

To me, this policy resembles Apple's specific brand of business smugness: refusing to sell products to existing consumers by keeping those items on reserve for prospective consumers---- with the knowledge that the refused consumer will certainly virtually certainly end up purchasing the product through another channel or at another time, anyhow. And for now, Apple can pay for to behave this way, because its items are still commonly made use of and coveted, as evidenced by the precarious stock levels of a gadget released a whole month back.

There may come a time when Apple can no longer afford this luxury, when some clients will certainly value convenience over desire, and decide to choose up the most current Galaxy instead of the latest iPhone. For Apple's sake, let's hope the company is able to recognize this subtle shift in customer choice before it ends up being too late to reverse course on some of these hard-line policies. For now, at least, a 10-million-unit opening weekend will only serve to enhance the really understandings that beget these policies in the first place.