Has the Iphone ruined the Apple Store experience?


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 16, 2005
I went by the NYC 5th Ave Store today to check out the iphone and also see if they had any macbook pros in stock. The place is a zoo! I've never seen it so crowded and so unpleasant to be in. they seem to have hired the whole city - even a random neighbor of mine in Broooklyn was working there! I don't know him, but I see him around. The staff looks much younger too since the introduction of the iphone.

Anyway, I waited for about 20 minutes to get to a mbp and then gave up trying to get one of the kids to move aside and let a potential buyer check out a computer. It's become impossible to actually check out hardware in the store because of the crowds of people writing emails and surfing the web. I almost got into a fight with an idiot who had left his umbrella next to the MBP and gone somewhere else. I started using the machine and he came back and started telling met that he was using the macbook pro and that I should leave. I replied it didn't have his name on it, upon which he took his umbrella and slammed it on the macbook and said "here's my ****ing umbrella and I left it here on the machine I was using, jerk!" We argued a bit and instead of fighting him physically I decided to back off and wait somewhere else. It was really too crowded for a good fight anyway. And, I don't want to be banned from my favourite store :)

So, my question: has the introduction of the iphone ruined the Apple Store experience? What do you think?


macrumors 65816
May 16, 2007
Having never set foot in an Apple store, I can't say one way or the other. It seems like you have made a valid assumption, but I'm not sure. Hopefully the Apple stores will "calm down" after a few weeks and won't be overly busy with people just window shopping.


Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I think they will... I went to the Apple Store at St. Johns Town Centre in Jacksonville, FL, USA yesterday, and played with the iPhone briefly, and it was relatively business as usual and friendly. (Actually, the iPhones were receiving the least attention, with the majority of customers at MacBooks and iMacs. It was just me and one woman looking at iPhones the whole 5-10 minutes I was there, inspite there being at least eight floor models.)

As for the umbrella person... jerks will be jerks. :( All we can really do is not feed into it.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
Nov 16, 2005
I hope it will calm down because it really is awful when you can barely move around, and when all computers are taken with people checking email, watching videos and what not. The iphone crowd is doing what apple wants them to do: check out all the other fun stuff! I think it's a nice idea that people can play around with the computers, but it's terribly annoying when you actually want to examine one before you buy and can't do it....

I guess the Fifth Ave store is also a target for desperate iphone-lusting tourists from abroad who can't get one yet at home...


macrumors 68040
Jun 19, 2007
we went to the one in the florida mall here in orlando and it wasent too bad, more crowded than usual, but my girlfriend and I were there on a friday night last week and there were two iphones side by side that wernt being used and we played with them for a bit, i got my macbook pro the monday after iphone came out and a staffer was quick to come see what i was looking at, course they were outta iphones but still, the one here has always been crowded, i dont think its gotten any worse since...


macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2007
I'd have to agree with you. The iPhone has created an insurmountable amount of buzz for Apple, but it's also brought in a fatal amount of looky-loo's, checker outers, and hangers on. If you're going to the Apple store, check out what you will, but dont spend 45 minutes playing on photobooth while actual customers are waiting to see the piece of hardware they are about to drop 2,000-3,000 dollars on.

By the way, I live in Toronto. We have 2 Apple Stores here. They are both zoo-like, and we dont even have the iPhone! The Yorkdale Apple store, which I've visited 3 times in the last 2 weeks, is so busy, you can hardly walk through it. And to make matters worse, I've seen a general disregard for the products on display. Kids grabbing MBP screens like a fistful of candy, etc.... Im not a cranky kind of guy, it's just that going into the Apple store used to be somewhat peaceful, the clean appearance and helpful staff are now negated by the troops of summer camp kids...


macrumors 6502
May 28, 2006
This is why I prefer the small town Apple retailer as opposed to an actual Apple Store.

I love the iPhone and all, I think it does wonderful things, and it's helping push Apple's brand into the masses, but it's just too much. It's all you see anymore. iPhone this. iPhone that. I'm sure when the iPhone craze dies down and Apple gets back to the Macs again we'll get some really cool stuff, but for now it's just all you hear about. I'm frankly sick of iPhone news. I want more Mac news. October can't come fast enough.


macrumors 6502
Jul 12, 2007
This is why I prefer the small town Apple retailer as opposed to an actual Apple Store.

I love the iPhone and all, I think it does wonderful things, and it's helping push Apple's brand into the masses, but it's just too much. It's all you see anymore. iPhone this. iPhone that. I'm sure when the iPhone craze dies down and Apple gets back to the Macs again we'll get some really cool stuff, but for now it's just all you hear about. I'm frankly sick of iPhone news. I want more Mac news. October can't come fast enough.
Agreed. But to be honest with you, I'm just as excited to see an improved, affordable, higher capacity iPhone. I'm glad Apple is avoiding the route most tech companies would take - trying to launch too many new products at once. Maybe its a good thing that Leopard was delayed?


Jun 18, 2004
MOst of those people using the computers etc. are just there to check their email etc. Just go to an assistant and tell them you'd like to use one with an intention to buy and they'll shift a loiterer for you in a second. At least that's my view from the Regent Street store.


macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
Never been to 5th Avenue store but the SoHo location is always a zoo. The mall location on Long Island is also always a zoo. Apple attracts all the mall rats but I've never had a problem when I wanted to try out a computer.


macrumors member
May 20, 2007
Land of the Lost
I walked into a basic Apple Store about two weeks ago to purchase a firewire cable and to try to locate a Toslink 3.5mm to mini adapter to hook my Macbook Pro to my receiver once again. I broke the last one.

Every potential buyers were playing with the iphone, with the exception of myself and 1 other fellow.

I thought it was great because I received help and real help. I bought my cable and an Apple rep had enough time to try to look up the adapter online with me to see if Apple had it or a cable package with it.

I'm happy things are back to normal. I will be visiting one of the bigger Apple stores shortly in my area to inquire on another purchase. I hope it goes as good as I know it will.

The iphone is distracting everyone from everything except for the employees. They know what's going on.


macrumors member
Feb 7, 2007
The 5th Avenue store is a mess. I went two weeks ago and it was just as you described. The sales clerk told me "things calm down around 3 a.m."


macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
when i've gone to the store since the iphone for repairs on my pb. its been a lot of "teens" 12-16 i would say. in one corner of the store using the iphones.


macrumors regular
May 17, 2006
apple stores are always zoos, and usually a pain in the ass to go to...

you need to know what you want, get in, get it, and get out. it sucks but that's the way it is for me unfortunately...


macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
In front of my MacBook Pro
The 5th Ave store is the most crowded store on earth, even more crowded than the subway during rush hour. I walked into the that store, got all giddy, and just bought my MB before using one, lasted me 7 months. Of course, now I have a MBP (yay! graphics card). That MBP was purchased at the closest Apple store to my actual location (none in KY, went to Kenwood in Cincinnati). That one was absolutely not crowed. The iPhone was gathering significant attention, but before I even got out of the store I noted 3 people bought iMacs. The iPhone doesn't really ruin much, it attracts more buyers, and more lookers, so it's a mixed blessing.


macrumors regular
Jun 4, 2007
Hey It's been like that since last summer. Summers I'm here and even last summer it was that crowded. Usually I have to wait 10 minutes to get on an MBP of I'm being picky. But I can always go for a MB or iMac if I just want a computer to use.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2007
Sounds like a bad day combined with running into a jerk. I have enjoyed the Apple store on 5th Ave. MORE since buying the iPhone. I have returned frequently with iPhone in hand like it's my V.I.P. card to a cult or something. Scary that I said that...:eek:

I make sure to go on Saturdays earrrrrly in the morning because I assume that due to the nice weather and touristy attraction of the store, that store is probably packed anyway after noon. Have you considered going at other times? Today at 9am, it was comfortable. :)


macrumors regular
May 22, 2007
I was wondering the same thing as you this past week. I live in Louisiana and the only time I can go to an Apple store is when we go on vacation to a place with one. We are currently in Orlando, FL and I went to both Apple stores. They were both really busy. For one of them, I couldn't make a Genius Bar appointment before Friday, and this was Wednesday. There were two kids in one of them that were playing one of the MMORPG's, not sure which one. I was kind of aggravated but I got what I went for with less difficulty than you. I'm not sure if it is the iPhone, they were really crowded in both stores, or something else, but they were really busy.


macrumors 6502
Jul 2, 2007
I bought my MBP on the weekend after the iPhone came out. I had never been in an apple store before and it was about 30 minutes until I got ahold of someone and eventually got my computer. It was an unpleasant experience, but I don't plan on really setting foot in the store for a very long time (fingers crossed nothing goes wrong).


macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
#1. Going into an Apple Store is an instant gratification move... you do it if you want an apple product right now and don't care much about customization.

#2. The Apple Stores near me have always been packed, and mostly by people who are there to play with things and not necessarily to buy them. I don't even think the Apple stores are meant to be profitable (though the iPhone seems to have changed that). They are points of support if you equipment is broken, but primarily they are places for people to look and touch the products. And that's exactly what people doing.

#3. I hate to suggest it, but could this be a bit of Mac elitism talking here? I mean, heaven forbid the unwashed masses spend time in a retail store... Apple's precious goodies are only reserved for the elite Cult of Mac, right? i experienced similar when I switched. I saw my acquiring Macs as a sign that i was sick of Windows, hated Vista, and OS X finally matured to a level when I could use it daily. Some Mac users saw it as a sign that the end was near. :rolleyes:

#4. There is no #4.

P.S.: I still don't plan on getting an iPhone.