Apple hosted an event on October 19 at its Cupertino HQ to celebrate Steve Jobs’ life, which was also streamed live across Apple offices and retail stores globally. Now even you can watch the ceremony, which includes a personal account by Apple’s design guru and friend of Steve’s, Jonathan Ive, which touches on the personal aspect of his “best and most loyal friend.” Others, like former US Vice President, Al Gore, point out how Steve not just changed many industries but also touched many lives across the world. (Watch the video here. It only works on Safari or QuickTime on Windows, though.) Also Read - Samsung now lets you make an appointment to shop at its stores, book demo via WhatsApp
I got yet another first-hand experience of Jobs’ brilliance last week in Hong Kong where I visited an Apple Store for the first time. It is only there that a commoner like me can get a glimpse of what it means to be working for (not at) Apple. It is only when one witnesses the enthusiasm and passion the staff in blue t-shirts share for everything Apple that one can understand why Jobs was unhappy with Apple’s retail staff and why he insisted they should have the same energy and feel the same as Apple employees in Cupertino. Also Read - Xiaomi is hiding the front camera on its next Mi flagship smartphone
Apple Stores are special. One does not have to seek help, it comes to you. Every table has iPads affixed to them that not only displays features of the product displayed next to them but also have a button that can summon an Apple employee for help. That day, one Vic came to help me and my friends choose the best configurations for our needs. He took our order on his iPhone, which ‘magically’ appeared within minutes. He swiped our card, had the bill emailed to us and brought Apple bags to carry the MacBook Airs and iPad we had just bought. I have not seen any other store where one does not have to stand in a check-out queue to buy products. If this isn’t sheer brilliance in retail, I do not know what is.
One of my friends still could not understand why visiting an Apple Store was such a big deal for me, when the same product was available at many other stores much closer to our hotel. As we walked out, he could not help but brand me as an Apple fanboi. I do not blame him. He does not get what he had just experienced. Yes, the trademark glass spiral staircase, the giant Apple logo (Vic told us the Hong Kong Store has the largest logo in the world) and the absence of Apple Store written anywhere are a gimmick to excite “fanbois.” But that isn’t the magic. The real magic happens only once you are inside and experience Apple’s legendary service. And this is just one of the many ways Jobs has touched many lives.