Storegate: Apple’s new store spells doom

The decline and fall of the Apple empire... is not happening right now.


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Apple opened a flagship store and, as with all portents, it can only mean the company is on a downward spiral the likes of which has not been seen for two thousand years.

Yeah, someone really wrote that.

Writing for Newsweek, Alexander Nazaryan says “San Francisco’s New Apple Store Shows Little ’Think Different’ Spirit.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Bill Merchant.)

Again, thank Bog we have pundits around to remind Apple what their values were during its renaissance because apparently the people who were there at the time and helped create that atmosphere have no idea.

The Macalope says “thank Bog” instead of “God” because Bog is one of The Old Ones, an ancient demon god that follows people around shouting their words back at them out of context for all eternity and is clearly the only being that could be responsible for this ridiculousness.

Entering the new Apple Store in San Francisco’s Union Square, I felt as if I’d stumbled on some distant outpost of the late Roman Empire, a crumbling fort in the Welsh countryside that reminds of glories past, but also of the passing of all glories.

Reading this the Macalope felt like he stumbled upon a website entitled History Majors Gone Wild. Clearly building a dramatic retail store is emblematic of a problem with Apple in that it is focused on creating the symbols of empire rather than attending to the system that creates and supports empire building. Clearly because they never built a single solitary dramatic retail store during their rise. That is how we know this.

In the last year, Apple’s invasion of China has been slow, and like Alexander the Great…

[Angrily brandishes mortar board] “I’VE GOT A LIBERAL ARTS DEGREE! DON’T COME NEAR ME! I’LL USE IT!”

As went Rome and Constantinople, so must go Cupertino.


Nevertheless, this opening marks an important occasion for all who’ve bitten the lovely fruit of Wozniak and Jobs.

Overly Florid is the name of Nazaryan’s emo rock band.

Foster + Partners designed the space, which broadcasts wealth and prestige far removed from the company’s “Think Different” era.

Uh, yeah, possibly because they had neither when they ran the “Think Different” campaign.

Here’s the thing about this: While iPhone sales did drop year-over-year in the most recent quarter and probably will do the same in the current quarter, Apple is still crazy profitable. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, not while it made $10.5 billion in profit.

For all the talk of community and creativity, the profit motive is what truly counts here.

Nazaryan is shocked—SHOCKED!—to find there is capitalism going on here!

Much like Boy Genius Report, Newsweek seems to have settled on “So, we have to cover this store opening but no one said we couldn’t cover it like a sullen 12-year-old being forced to go to his little brother’s Elmo-themed birthday party.” Also, while we’re store-shaming, let’s just throw some random technology-shaming in, too.

There’s something sadly ironic about Apple trying to create “community,” given that its devices have so efficiently atomized people, leaving them alone and sleepless, ever alert for the iPhone’s needful ping.

Sure. Because those pings are coming from nowhere. They’re not coming from friends online, certainly! No, that’s not a thing that happens! The only pings you receive on your phone come from games that are the downfall of society, some kind of self-aggrandizement engine I have imagined exists and Beelzebub himself.

The persistent popularity of Samsung? The rise of virtual reality? The advent of wearables? These were distant concerns.

Possibly because these are not in any way actual problems for Apple. Apple continues to take most of the profit in the smartphone market, virtual reality is still some time from really taking off (and Apple is reportedly working on their own VR technology) and the Apple Watch is the best-selling smartwatch on the market.

Apple does have problems. Making a nice store isn’t one of them.

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