I spent the last week in the US and, as the dollar is so cheap now, I decided it was a good moment to buy some electronics. The thing is that I was particularly interested in the new iPhone interface so the Apple Store at the 5th Avenue was kind of an ‘obliged’ destination.
I was happily playing with one of the iPhones they have there when an ‘Apple Specialist’ –that’s how they call the shop assistants– approached me. This is the conversation we had (approximated transcription):
- Specialist: Any questions regarding the iPhone?
- Zeta: Yes, I’d like to know if it’s gonna be available in Belgium.
- S: Anything else?
- Z: Yes, I’m a developer and I wonder if there’s a SDK for the iPhone.
- S: Sure, you can download it from the Apple website.
- Z: Cool. How it works? I develop the software with the SDK and I do the tests it in my iPhone, right?
- S: Oh, no, you cannot install the software in the iPhone directly, you use the emulator included in the SDK instead.
- Z: Oh, really? Why can’t I install the software I’m developing on my own iPhone?
- S: Because we want to ensure that the applications are good enough and don’t break the iPhone. They have to be submitted to Apple before.
- Z: So you don’t trust your developers.
[The specialist points at the crowded store and continues…]
- S: Oh, no, no… we do not actually trust… the users. You haven’t dealt with the people coming here. They don’t know how to use a computer; they just come here to check their e-mails.
- Z: Are you telling me you don’t trust your users? I thought this was an Apple store, not Microsoft’s.
[The guy increases the red tonality of his face]
- S: What I mean is that you’re part of the one percent of people who understand. We’d like to give you the opportunity of installing software, but then everybody could do it, and this is bad.
- Z: I see a problem of consistency here. If I buy an Apple laptop you “trust” me as a user because I can download whatever I want and install it. However, you don’t “trust” me if it’s an iPhone.
- S: Because a phone is more important than a laptop, it can save your life! And to fix a computer you don’t need another computer, but to fix an iPhone you need a computer.
Then, I left the shop, and bought a nice Canon point&shot camera somewhere else.