The New York Times writes:
At first glance, some of the company’s moves seem, in stark financial terms, to be costly indulgences. Almost half of the store staff is there not to sell but to provide free help on how to use Macintosh computers, iPods, software and third-party accessories like digital cameras. Nearly all of the computers have Internet access, and the stores are crowded with people checking their e-mail, browsing the Web or listening to music on the iPods.
The stores are organized around different uses of computing technology: organizing music, editing digital photos or movies, creating podcasts and blogs all done with Apple’s software.
“The Apple stores are selling digital experiences, not products,” said Ted Schadler, an analyst at Forrester Research. “Its stores can be seen as solutions boutiques. And that’s the direction that selling technology to consumers, from cellphones to HDTV’s, has to go to be successful.”