back to article Apple swears that NO FANBOI will queue for its new gumble

Angela Ahrendts, head of retail at Apple, has ordered her grunts to discourage fanbois from queuing outside its stores, according to a leaked memo. Back when the iPhone 6 release date neared, fans could be seen queuing for weeks to be among the first to buy one. "It's like heroin," one told The Register, displaying a shocking …

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    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: An appointment to buy a watch !

      Agreed. Whilst not a 30k Cartier, some years ago my wife bought me a Tag Heuer.

      She went to the jewelers without any kind of appointment (gasp!) and spoke to a lovely sales assistant. I believe it might even have been the manager.

      She then spent the next couple of hours talking to said assistant whilst handling various different models as each was explained to her.

      At the end of the time, my wife chose one, bought it and brought it home for me. Since then I have worn it, and as long as possible will continue to wear it, every day.

      I'm pretty sure if she'd been told she couldn't look/see/handle sans appointment, they'd have lost a sale.

      After 8 years, it's ready for a service because it's losing a little time now but that's all. No future compatibility problems until and unless some genius rules we need to use decimal time ;)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: An appointment to buy a watch !

        A required appointment would result in cash going elsewhere.

        Lucky your wife did the work of picking. I got dragged by ex-gf to jewellers and made to try a number of watches before decision was eventually made - nice present but I hate shopping. Current gf even buys almost everything without me there now, from shoes to hats, just need to crack suits (I buy 2 or 3 at a time to reduce stress).

      2. keithpeter Silver badge

        Re: An appointment to buy a watch !

        @TonyJ with the Tag Heuer(*) and all...

        Sir Jonathon appreciates the issue...

        "However, it was not without some trepidation that he embarked on the watch. “It was different with the phone – all of us working on the first iPhone were driven by an absolute disdain for the cellphones we were using at the time. That’s not the case here. We’re a group of people who love our watches. So we’re working on something, yet have a high regard for what currently exists.”

        Have you noticed how Sir Jonathan is being wheeled out to do press (which I don't recollect previously)? New PR team (Mr Cook ditched Ms Cotton) or desparation? Time (sic) will tell.

        *My own preference is rather eccentric; I'm dithering between a MeisterSinger soon or waiting for a much more economical circular Slow Watch. I like the 24-hour idea as it reflects the path of the Sun. I might just go for an astrolabe. No jokes about single hands please.

        Icon: mine's the one with the silk liner and dotted hanky in the top pocket.

    2. Velv

      Re: An appointment to buy a watch !

      The first thing you learn when you retail quality and high value products is that nobody is unworthy. You treat all comers well from the outset, and those not worthy will soon leave of their own accord. True customers will stay and buy.

      And remember, just because someone might not be able to afford it today doesn't mean they won't be able to afford it tomorrow, and you want them to come back. And not like the shop scene from Pretty Woman.

    3. Jedit Silver badge

      "An appointment to buy a watch! What are they like?"

      I don't know. I missed my appointment because I didn't have a watch.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Apple is moving toward this...

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  3. Tom 38 Silver badge

    Maybe disingenuous

    But perhaps the reason is that few people would fork over that amount once they have actually used the apple watch, so make them desire it and order it without understanding what "it" actually is.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe disingenuous

      @Tom 38

      Truly a remarkable marketing breakthrough! Extra shares for the person who thought up this twisted scheme.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Maybe disingenuous

      "few people would fork over that amount once they have actually used the apple watch"

      Yes, that sentiment is exactly what I took from this story. There's still no killer app for the smart watch yet despite all the marketing coming out of latecomer Apple.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Maybe disingenuous

        "There's still no killer app for the smart watch yet "

        Two down votes and no examples of the killer app yet? That's a shame, because as a gadget geek I'd love to see a killer app that would make me want a smart watch.

        1. Tom 38 Silver badge

          Re: Maybe disingenuous

          Rule #1 of developing a killer app, don't tell random people on the internet about your killer app before you release it.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ban them before they finally shrivel up and disappear all by themselves? The last few launches haven't really resulted in queues stretching for miles.

    After all, who wants to stand in the street for days on end, having people come up and ask them for a lattefrappecappumochachocotino?

    1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      "After all, who wants to stand in the street for days on end,"

      This is why they hire homeless people to hold places in line. So here's another employment opportunity lost for the disadvantaged.

      Apple might be upset by the difficulty that the general public has in telling the difference between fanboi hipsters and the placeholder hobos.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        " between fanboi hipsters and the placeholder hobos."

        Well given how much iDevices cost, I don't think the banks can tell the difference either...

  5. D@v3

    can't see this working

    so what's going to happen?

    A few weeks before the next launch (iPhone7 maybe) a small queue starts to form.

    Friendly iStaff comes out and explains to them the joys of staying at home and ordering online.

    Person who somehow can afford to be in line for an iThing without needing to do anything so tedious as go to work for a couple of weeks explains to the friendly iStaff that they are well aware of the online ordering, but would much rather be the 'first' person to get one.

    Stays put.

    Queue develops behind them.

    Repeat with each new addition (to either the queue, or the iPortfolio)

    The thing is, i can kind of understand from Apples point of view that they don't like having to turn people away on the afternoon of a launch due to low stock levels as a result of a crowd of oiks picking them all up as soon as the shop opens. I just can't see this tactic working, short of the iStaff going out to the queue and flat out saying, "we will not have any stock for you" which kind of defeats the point of having a shop in the first place.

    1. verbaloversupply

      Re: can't see this working

      Make online delivery a day before available in shops.

  6. Amorous Cowherder

    "It's like heroin...."

    The fervour of some of the Apple fans always reminds of the skit in Frasier.

    Frasier Crane: "The food is die for!"

    Marty Crane: "No Frasier. Your flag is die for. Your country is die for. Food is to eat."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "It's like heroin...."

      Marty Crane: "No Frasier. Your flag is die for. Your country is die for. Food is to eat."

      Are you sure that's not a quote from Dr No?

      "Ah Mr Bond. You flag is die for. You country is die for. Food is eat."

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: "It's like heroin...."

      They got it wrong.. one should not "die" for anything. Kill, maybe. Which makes the lines shorter.....

      *Old USMC saying: "In war, the idea is not to die for your country. The idea is make the other guy die for his."

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: "It's like heroin...."

        Close, but no Marine Corps involvement in this one's origin. Its actually Patton from just before Overlord.

        "No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his"

        -General George S Patton, US Army. Address to 6th Armored Division, 31 May 1944

        You still get an upvote because its one of my favorites

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: "It's like heroin...."

          True.. it came from Patton. Still, it's an excellent quote.

  7. Velv

    Rumour rumour rumour

    Watch, iMac, iPhone7, shiny, rumour, shiny, exclusive, rumour, shiny, Announcement, rumour, September, confirmed cult, trusted sources shiny rumour

  8. DCFusor

    PR move

    You're missing the obvious. This thing is way not worth what they want for it, most people realize it, and there will be no lines anyway. They are simply front-running that by "preventing" what wasn't going to happen anyway - and thus avoiding bad press and pictures of "no lines".

    Along with the commenters above - (Tom 38 etc) - perhaps once people see/try it, they won't want it, just as bad for PR.

    Of course, then I'm a kind of strange geek and even sometimes a luddite, for a physicist. I don't wear any body jewelry at all, don't have or want a cell comfort and time are precious to me. I hate getting calls just because someone else is bored and wants entertainment. I don't want the interruptions. I don't even know the phone number for the built in phone in my car, much less hand it out - I only use it to order pizza if I'm on the road and on the way past the shop.

    I prefer to own time, rather than have it own me, to the extent possible.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: PR move

      Sir, I believe you've nailed it.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: PR move

        He probably has nailed it but the spectacle of a new Apple product release is always wort watching.

        It is a shame that the likes of Samsung can't copy this sort of free entertainment.

    2. skeptical i

      Re: PR move

      A downvote? Really? [* scratches head *] People ... are funny.

      I salute you, DCFusor, and wish my cash-flow modus operandi were such that I could ditch the electronic leash. Someday.

      1. phil dude

        Re: PR move

        @skeptical i: "A downvote? Really? [* scratches head *] People ... are funny."

        It's the Russian funded astroturfers we've been told about, making sure the new "Watchski Pravda" is not over shadowed.

        Guaranteed to show the time that Putin's reality is on...


      2. Hud Dunlap

        Re: PR move @skeptical 1

        The reason for the down vote.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: PR move @skeptical 1

          People really are strange given how many times I've been told: "You don't know Dick!"

  9. John 104

    They got it backwards

    As stated above, the watch isn't worth the ask. Having people make appointments, etc and not allowing anyone to buy in the shop without one, will cost them sales.

    New Policy: Fanboi makes an appointment, goes in, tries on shiny watch and decides, "nah, not worth the dosh.". Leaves cash in pocket and leaves. New phone stays in sales drawer collecting dust.

    Old, retard way of bying iProduct: Lines of people waiting outside the shop. Doors open, fans rush in, crowd mentality takes over and everyone who can get one buys one without even touching it. Fanboi wears watch for a few weeks then realizes its rubbish and puts it in desk drawer so it can collect dust.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And people say we need more women in the technology sector?

    If i'm paying a stupid amount of money for some tech I want to have a look at one, see how heavy it is etc.

    I'm not buying a 50p chocolate bar.

    1. skeptical i


      Hi, AC: I don't believe that the decision (bone-headed as some have said, or prudent avoiding-of-no-news later as suggested by others) made by one female big cheese in the technology sector is indicative of how having more women in similar positions would work (or not) any more than the staggeringly bone-headed things said and done by individual men reflect on how men perform (or not) as a class. Same for Blacks, LGBTs, Latinos, et cetera. I think the "problem" is that since women in high-level tech sector jobs are still rare enough to get attention in and of themselves ("Lookie! Another woman tech CEO! Hand me the binoculars and my life list!"), anything they do is News and bad news always outsells good. I am sure that if a highly placed male Apple officer had made the decision, he would also be getting roasted, but perhaps not to the same degree. Things are changing, but despite our hyperbolic information culture some changes are still slow in coming.

      1. Kristian Walsh

        Re: Que?

        Don't underestimate Ahrendts. She managed to drag Burberry back from a position of being despised by its customer base to become something that is selling well again. On the other hand, getting people to buy the Watch is going to be a serious challenge for her.

        My take on the "no live displays" policy is that it's because the device's battery simply will not last a working day of being picked up and pawed by customers. If you come in at 3:30 pm and see a bench of devices that are all either completely dead, or just about to die, it really doesn't give you much confidence in the product, and it creates a bad-news story that customers will repeat ("I went to the Apple store after lunch yesterday - all the Watches were dead. Not so keen on it now")

        Making an appointment is also a way of drawing the customer closer to purchasing, and being unable to make those appointments in-store is what shows this up as a sales trick. If a customer is in the shop, makes an appointment, and an assistant says "Sure, come back in 10 minutes and you can have a look at it", the customer is still in the "I just walked in for a look" mindset with little emotional investment in a purchase - out for a coffee or a look somewhere else, and then back to the Apple shop for a quick look-see.

        But, if their appointment is only made online and is more than a day in the future, then the customer has invested much more into the product before they even open the door of the shop, and there is more obligation on that customer to buy, and "not be a time-waster" (you mightn't think this way, but playing on buyer insecurity is the main weapon of the premium goods seller)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real reason is that Apple is eager to stymie the black market

    Queuing and handing over cash, no questions asked, just plays into the hands of the Chinese smuggler gangs. To get around the "max 2 items per customer" policy they equip thousands of drones with the necessary wonga who then proceed to wait in line for days to grab the coveted iObjects.

  12. Mike Bell

    Meanwhile back on Earth, El Reg are going to be reporting astronomical Apple Watch sales in a few weeks, and the Apple money-making machine will be confounding armchair economists once again. You know it's going to happen in your hearts really, don't you.

    1. Cliff

      Sadly, yes.

  13. splodge

    iWatch what I spend my money on...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That'd work if it was called iWatch.

      It isn't.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Has Apple completely lost the plot?

  15. William Donelson

    If it works, DON'T FIX IT.

  16. This post has been deleted by its author

  17. Mr_Bungle
    Thumb Up

    Things more pointless than the iwatch

    I've racked my brain to think of something more pointless than Apple's latest overpriced laughable folly. All I could come up with, are the 'inventions' of the 'USB pet rock', and 'diet water'.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy

      Re: Things more pointless than the iwatch

      But it seems that with us humans, the more pointless something is, the harder we fight. Just look at ISIS, killing innocents over some trivial historical fact from well over a thousand years ago...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Things more pointless than the iwatch

      All fair, in your opinion, obviously. You missed one though. Your incessant whining about a device that you purportedly have little or no interest in is completely pointless, as in devoid of any point. Thanks for playing though.

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: Things more pointless than the iwatch

      just wait for the Apple car, and new airline called MacAir...

      You could wear your Apple Watch, while checking your Apple Car rental on your MacAir flight with your iPhone while listening to your iPod and watching a movie on your iPad. Next up on our Apple odyssey, clothing and shoes.

      Ah, yes my coat.

  18. Frank N. Stein

    Nice. This will help punters get their lives back. Hopefully, Apple will do this for their iPhones as well. There shouldn't be a need for it with anything else, as no one stands in line to buy any of their other products.

  19. Frank N. Stein

    Maybe Apple will do this for their iPhones, so that queuing punters can get their lives back. No one forms a line outside to buy Macbooks or iPads. It's rather surprising that Apple didn't sell more of those new Macbooks, but then again, not really.

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