NYT Trendspotting: Everyone's Copying the Apple Store

Illustration for article titled NYT Trendspotting: Everyone's Copying the Apple Store

Leaping from the introduction of the new AT&T Experience store (pictured anticlimactically above), which aims to shove all of the services offered by the hydra company in your face within the confines of a single space (the AT&T experience, no doubt), to Verizon's own innovatively named Verizon Experience store, which coincidentally pushes every Verizon product ever made at you, the NYT concludes that they're both "reading from the [sic] Apple's playbook." Hmm. No.


It's true, that like an Apple Store, the AT&T Experience has different sections showcasing different products, like an entertainment station that shows off hi-def and VOD content, a music area with XM on phones, and a gaming area with um, game phones. There are several others, but you get the point.

Two reasons as to why this not like an Apple Store. One, I like going to the Apple Store, even when I have no intention of buying anything, which is to say almost always. The NYT is right; it's a destination. There's no reason for these AT&T stores to be a destination. Playing around with a MacBook Pro is very different from diddling on a phone or looking at a VOD service. There's nothing cool or inherently interesting enough about either of these things to draw people into the store, for starters.

Second, nothing in AT&T's store is synergistic. An XM-enabled phone has nothing to do with their IPTV service. Odds are, I already have a cable provider. On the other hand, an upgraded nano would go very nicely with a MacBook, or a Mac mini with an AppleTV, and so on. (Not that I would buy either a Mac mini or an AppleTV, actually.)
But there is a certain continuity to Apple's products that lends to them all being in the same space. AT&T's just trying to shove everything they can into a single space hoping that by the time you've walked out, some of it will stick. The only thing they're really taking from Apple is the $100-a-month service contract every iPhone sold is going to bring them, and they should be more than satisfied with that.

AT&T Megastore Aims to Make It Fun to Buy a Phone [NYT]



There were countless stores that were similar to what Apple created in their own store. However, I think it is fair to say that Apple has had more success than most. Despite what is said within the Reality Distortion Field, Apple rarely has something entirely new, and when they have (remember the Newton?) it often is a failure. Apple is at their best when they let the market innovate, and then they copy that idea and add their own elegant interface. (iPod, Mac, Apple Store, etc)

AT&T and others will now try their hand at creating products similar, like this store, but the question is whether their 'interface' will succeed.

AT&T? Succeed? I crack myself up.