22 May 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project


An Apple Pre- or Postdiction

  • I love my MP3 players, but they are not of the Apple iPod persuasion.
  • I use PCs, not Apple computers.
  • I have been to an Apple store; to me it might as well have been a CompUSA.
  • I have never personally experienced the Steve Jobs reality distortion field.

Please don't misapprehend!  I have nothing against Apple or Jobs.  In fact I do find the company's products very stylish and mildly seductive.  But I am constitutionally incapable of spending more than I must, and I judge my MP3 players by their gigabytage, not their color.

That's me.  There are a lot of not-me's out there who feel differently, and I want to commend Mr. Jobs for giving them something they don't quite know they need yet.  (This is being written minutes after the new Apple Store in NYC opened, but won't appear until 22 May, so perhaps my theory will have been vindicated by the time you read this.)

What my theory isn't:  That store is so beautiful (which it is) that it will draw customers from far and wide to purchase Apple products.  I do expect that it will draw quite a few gawkers, however.

What my theory is:  Having a computer store open 24 hours a day is very clever; doing it in NYC is truly brilliant!  NYC is a hive of late-night-artistes, many with entirely too much money.  Picture someone working on a graphics project at 03:00, on his Apple computer.  At that time of the night one's vision can be clouded by any number of chemicals, endogenous and otherwise.  One's monetary inhibitions are also attenuated, and suddenly the desire, rational or otherwise, for a new computer or for one of those gorgeous 30-inch displays can be requited by a quick cab ride.  I predict that Apple will be selling vastly more expensive hardware in the middle of the night than Jobs and his henchtrons ever expected.

I should have also mentioned above that I know nothing about "retail."  But I do know about nighttime hours, and I do remember that a number of years ago an all-night chocolate shop received rather more of my custom due to its hours than its wares.  Mr. Jobs is a very clever fellow, but anyone with a G5 probably doesn't need me to tell him that.

Follow-up 06 November 2006

I had the opportunity to personally visit the Apple Store and did my best to confirm or deny my theory.  The results were positive but not conclusive.  Read about it here.

Richard Factor