Apple Retail Store Employee on Product Launches, Store Culture, and Customers

151307 apple genius bar banner

There are obviously quite a few Apple retail store employees and ex-employees around, many of whom are happy to share details of what it's like to work for the company, but a new "confessions" report published by Popular Mechanics summarizes some of the more interesting points and dispels a few rumors about what employees do and do not know and how their performance is judged. Among the highlights:

- Apple retail store employees know nothing about future product releases, and find out about them only as they are publicly announced. Speculating about future products is severely frowned upon, particularly in the presence of customers.

I am asked five times per day about the next iPad or iPhone, and I quite simply don't know. But I would be in huge trouble if I said something like "The next iPad is going to have a camera." I actually avoid the technology section of the newspaper so I have no points of view to accidentally comment with or drop into conversation. I'd rather just be dumb about it.

- Retail store employees have to deal with a wide range of customers each day, including "evil" customers who scream or curse their way into replacements at the Genius Bar, "drug dealers" trying to buy iPhones with fake IDs and credit cards, gray-market exporters trying to load up on iPhones for export to other countries, and non-customers who visit Apple stores to post Facebook updates, send out live webcasts, and listen to music.

- Retail store employees are expected to sell significant numbers of add-ons such as AppleCare and MobileMe as they close sales on hardware products. The so-called "attachment rate" is very high for AppleCare, but MobileMe is reportedly generally a tough sell.

- Apple's training and motivational materials can make the company feel like a cult, and while employees aren't paid on commission, their sales performance is publicly shown to all store employees and low-performing employees are taken aside by management to attempt to find ways to increase their productivity.

All in all, there aren't any real surprises revealed in the report, but it does offer an interesting look into what it's like to work at an Apple retail store.

Popular Stories

iPhone 16 Pro Max Generic Feature 2

5 Biggest Changes Rumored for iPhone 16 Pro Max

Tuesday May 21, 2024 7:29 am PDT by
Given Apple's rumored plan to add an all-new high-end tier to its iPhone 17 series in 2025, this could be the year for Apple to bring its boldest "Pro Max" model to the table — the kind of iPhone 16 upgrade that stands tall above its siblings, both figuratively and literally. If you have been holding out for the iPhone 16 Pro Max, here are five of the biggest changes rumored to be coming...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.5.1 With Fix for Reappearing Photos Bug

Monday May 20, 2024 10:11 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1, minor updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating system updates that came out last September. The 17.5.1 updates come a week after the launch of iOS 17.5 and iPadOS 17.5. iOS 17.5.1 and iPadOS 17.5.1 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's...
maxresdefault

iPhone SE 4 With Face ID Said to Be Priced Below $500

Monday May 20, 2024 3:43 am PDT by
Apple is targeting a sub-$500 starting price for its upcoming fourth-generation iPhone SE model despite a raft of rumored upgrades coming to the more affordable device. According to leaker Revegnus on X, the U.S. launch price of the fourth-generation iPhone SE will either remain at the same $429 starting price as the current model, or will see an increase of around 10%. Either way, Apple's...
microsoft surface pro qualcomm

Microsoft Says New Surface Pro is Faster Than 15" M3 MacBook Air

Monday May 20, 2024 3:19 pm PDT by
Microsoft is going all in on AI, today introducing a series of Copilot+ PCs that have AI-focused hardware. The new Surface Pro is one of the first Copilot+ PCs, equipped with Qualcomm's Arm-based Snapdragon X Elite processor. Microsoft is already pitting the Surface Pro against Apple's M3 MacBook Air, and in marketing materials, claims that the Surface Pro has superior processing power and...
iPhone 15 Pro Cameras

iPhone 16 Pro Max to Feature New 48MP Wide and Ultra Wide Cameras

Tuesday May 21, 2024 3:36 am PDT by
Apple's iPhone 16 Pro Max will boast a bigger main camera sensor while both iPhone 16 Pro models will feature a 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera for the first time, claims a rumor coming out of Asia. According to Weibo user OvO Baby Sauce OvO, the main camera of the iPhone 16 Pro Max will be based on an advanced custom 48-megapixel Sony IMX903 sensor. In contrast, the iPhone 16 Pro will use...