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Revolutionary spirit of Apple products

The company continues to make products that are fast, beautiful, simple to operate and doesn’t give in after years of usage

Mathures Paul | Published 20.04.23, 11:19 AM
Tim Cook waves to the crowd before allowing customers into Apple BKC, the company’s first retail store in India. It is located in Mumbai

Tim Cook waves to the crowd before allowing customers into Apple BKC, the company’s first retail store in India. It is located in Mumbai

Pictures: The Telegraph

During peak pandemic, the movie theatre was missed, even though millions spoke about the benefits of streaming films. These are the same people who went back to the halls as soon as they were back in business What’s so great about enjoying a movie in the theatre? Hearing different takes on the same movie. There’s no better alternative than to trundle down carpeted passages with giant colas and popcorn buckets in hand. It’s the most entertaining activity you can enjoy with strangers.

Now ask what’s the big commotion about the opening of Apple’s first retail store in India — Apple BKC in Mumbai? One person tweeted that buying an iPhone from a shop, online store or from the Apple Store offers a similar experience. He’s wrong. Think of it as the premiere of the biggest Hollywood or Bollywood film. You would like to be there. You want the experience to be memorable.

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Second, Apple products live up to the fanfare. The company continues to make products that are fast, beautiful, simple to operate and doesn’t give in after years of usage. Most of the products are revolutionary. An Apple Store captures the revolutionary spirit of Apple products.

It’s an event

The Apple store is always designed to be a gathering place with bright lights and bright acoustics, ensuring customers feel they are at an event rather than a retail store. And it retains a secret ingredient the company’s co-founder Steve Jobs introduced — attention to details. Every square inch of the store is packed with aesthetics and even the devices are kept at certain angles.

That’s the charm of Apple BKC in Mumbai and also of Apple Saket in Delhi (opens today). No wonder people turned up hours before BKC went into business. The first three in the queue at Apple BKC were Purav from Mumbai, Madhav from Rajasthan and Kartik from Pune. They waited 15-16 hours to ensure their place in Apple history, besides high-fiving company CEO, Tim Cook. Kartik told t2: “It is an architectural masterpiece. It’s something you won’t see anywhere.” His friend Purav was mesmerised by the eco-friendly nature of the design. He said: “The store is running on 100 per cent renewable energy (it is operationally carbon neutral).” And not just camping, Purav came with an old iPod touch from 2013. He opened the box on April 18 morning, hoping to get it signed by Tim Cook.

It matters to be the first. Kushal Shah from Mumbai was early but made it to the queue after 100-odd people. “I wanted to be the first one but I couldn’t wake up on time because my alarm didn’t go off,” he said.

The loud cheers from Apple Store executives and the knowledge each person on the floor possesses are both important qualities. By the time the shop was one hour into business, thousands showed up, bounding up the stairs, hearts racing.

Loyalists still exist

Another important part is how Apple fans are growing up and ensuring their kids follow in their footsteps. The people who bought Apple products in India in the 1990s are parents to youngsters. Being brand loyalists — something very difficult to find these days — they have taught their children a thing or two about the Apple ecosystem, things like product longevity and privacy. At Apple BKC there were plenty of teenagers hanging out.

Now that the store is open, how does Apple attract people? ‘Today at Apple’ will play an important role as there will be regular masterclasses on graphics, AR, music creation, photography and whatnot. In fact, an Apple store is about having an experience rather than a destination to buy products. The latter is something other brands tend to focus on.

Madhu Ashar came with his eight-year-old grandson, Aarav. The 85-year-old has family members who all use Apple products because of the ease of using them. Or take the case of UX designer Sajid Moinuddin, who has been using Apple products since the 1980s. He came with his beloved Macintosh SE. He learnt about the importance of designing and typography from his father and he believes that Apple products will help him achieve his goals easily.

Iconic venue

Very little has changed in the philosophy behind the Apple Store since the first two opened in 2001 at Tysons Corner in McLean, Virginia, and the Glendale Galleria in Glendale, California. “Rather than just hear about megahertz and megabytes, customers can now learn and experience the things they can actually do with a computer, like make movies, burn custom music CDs, and publish their digital photos on a personal website,” the late Steve Jobs said.

When asked to cite any retail experience, the ones offered by Apple have top-of-the-mind recall value. Also, the people who run the show are knowledgeable, which customers appreciate. And if you want to learn about an Apple product, it’s the best place to be at.

Many Apple stores have become so iconic that a category of tourists make it a point to visit them, like the one on Fifth Avenue in New York. Apple BKC too has all the features to become a similar destination. It features a triangular handcrafted timber ceiling that extends beyond the glass façade to the underside of the exterior canopy, reflecting the unique geometry of the store. Each tile is made from 408 pieces of timber, forming 31 modules per tile with a total of 1,000 tiles that make up the ceiling. There are over 450,000 individual timber elements, all of which were assembled in Delhi. Upon entering the store, customers are greeted by two stone walls sourced from Rajasthan and a 14-metre-long stainless steel staircase connecting the ground level and the cantilevered mezzanine.

In other words, we already knew magic happens with Apple products. Now we know it can also be experienced at an Apple store.

Top view of the arrangement at Apple BKC

Top view of the arrangement at Apple BKC

(l-r) UX designer Sajid Moinuddin, Eighty five-year-old Madhu Ashar shows a picture of his grandson meeting Tim Cook

(l-r) UX designer Sajid Moinuddin, Eighty five-year-old Madhu Ashar shows a picture of his grandson meeting Tim Cook

Trying a trick or two on the iPad

Trying a trick or two on the iPad

Packed days ahead

Packed days ahead

The first three in the queue: Purav, Madhav and Kartik

The first three in the queue: Purav, Madhav and Kartik

Last updated on 20.04.23, 11:19 AM
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