act for appleOK, I’ll admit that as a 30 year user of, and consultant for, Windows products I might be a bit prejudiced but can anyone explain to me the current obsession with Apple products?  My local Apple store had a line wrapped around the mall before the holidays, and I witnessed similar occurrences at the Apple stores in New York.  Apparently the iPad was the gift of choice this season surpassing the more reasonably priced Fire and Nook devices.  Most importantly, more and more of my clients want to run “ACT on a Mac”.

I had the occasion to take my non-functioning iPod into the Apple store last week.  I chose an off-peak time (or so I thought) and found that I had to literally battle my way into the store.  All around me were clamoring customers seeking support and/or repair on their “easy to use, reliable” Apple products.   After waiting 15 minutes to work my way to the front of the appointment line I was given an appointment for the next day.  I left with a stern warning that I should show up 15 minutes early and that if I wasn’t there when called I would forfeit my spot.

The next day arrived and I once again bulldozed my way to the front of the appointment line.  The store was even more crowded than the night before and there was only one “official” appointment keeper person on duty.  He consulted his iPad and told me that the appointments were running over an hour late.  I was advised to wait outside of the store and warned that if I wasn’t there when called I would forfeit my spot.

I patiently waited the designated hour.  Fortunately for me I used my Droid to access the book I was currently reading on my Kindle but I digress.  At the end of the hour I once again made my way to the appointment czar who sternly told me that I had not checked in.  I suggested that perhaps his iPad had malfunctioned; the czar did not seem amused and informed me that it would probably be at least another forty-five minute wait.

Fast forward forty-five minutes and the new appointment guy told me that there were only 5 names ahead of mine.  He told me I could wait anywhere in the store and that a genius would find me. Skeptic that I am I hovered nearby and thought I heard my name being called faintly in the distance.  I dove through the crowd just in time to hear another name being called.  I was told that my device had malfunctioned and was given the option to purchase either a factory refurbished replacement or a brand new model.  Ironically they had dozens of refurbished models in stock.  Total time spent with the “genius” – less than 5 minutes; total time dealing with the Apple store – over 2.5 hours.

So what’s with the obsession with Apple products?  My friends tell me they like the fact that Apple offers classes; personally I can’t imagine attending one in the pandemonium of a retail store.  Clients tell me Macs are so much easier leading me to ponder how easy they can be if hundreds of people are seeking help. Other folk tell me that the Apple is impervious to viruses leading me to wonder why the store was selling anti-virus software.  I’m told that Apple makes reliable products yet my iPod died in a little over a year.

I guess my pet peeve (after waiting over two hours to be told that my broken device was broken)comes in the form of the cryptic texts I receive from my iPhone toting friends who can’t figure out how to turn off the automatic word “suggester.”  As one of my friends recently wrote me, “Racnt!  Olives the tixlr.”

I’d love to know your thoughts.