Apple Saturday | November 18, 2004

This Saturday sees the launch of the first of several Apple stores in the UK. The stores opening has been eagerly awaited by Mac geeks all over the country, some going as far as to sneak pics of the building site from a nearby roof.

I did entertain the idea of queuing up for the opening in order to get my hands on a legendary Lucky Bag. However I read on one site that the length of the queue at the SF store opening was 200 by 6am, 500 by 8am and a whopping 1,200 by 10am. As we’re a nation of professional queuers (lucky I didn’t let my spellchecker change this to what it wanted to change it to!) I bet people will already be there with tents and sleeping bags.

With only 200 lucky bags to go around, even getting the first train to London would have been too late and I’m really not up for pulling an all-nighter, no matter how great the contents will be. For those people willing to brave the Nov cold, they will end up with £700 worth of stuff for a measly £249. Expect to see these bad boys on within minutes of the store opening. I’m planning to head up around 9am on the off chance that I’ll bag one of 2,500 opening day t-shirts. considering one person sold an opening day T-shirt on ebay for $510, it may not be such a bad investment. Hell, I may try to pick up two!

The stores are supposed to be amazingly well designed so I’m looking forward to checking out the genius bar, the theatre and the legendary glass staircase. I just hope to god they don’t do the whole high five thing here.

After the store I’m planning to head over to the other big Apple event of the day, MacExpo2004. I’ve never been to a Mac Expo before so an looking forward to test driving some games, checking out the latest peripherals and maybe doing a spot of Christmas shopping. I’ll probably be there from 12pm onwards so hope to see a few of you there.

Posted at November 18, 2004 7:39 PM


Omar Shabbir said on November 18, 2004 11:25 PM

More cool pictures from inside the store. I’m just in awe of the overall design and layout of the store. And that Theatre looks top drawer. Hopefully a Manchester store will be around the corner soon…

trey said on November 19, 2004 12:26 AM

just wanted to let you know that you have a nice weblog andy. its very clean and neat. good work!

Jonathan Fenocchi said on November 19, 2004 5:41 AM

“As we’re a nation of professional queuers (lucky I didn’t let my spellchecker change this to what it wanted to change it to!) I bet people will already be there with tents and sleeping bags.”

ROTFL! And here I thought I had a bad outlook on UKers… :P

Anyway, it’s kind of unfortunate but I’ve never seen any Mac stores in the state I live in. Are they that rare? I was looking into getting a Macintosh (for the first time in my life, hardcore Windows-using-Microsoft-hating web designer), but nothing thus far has convinced me. I see all the big names - yourself, Douglas Bowman, Dave Shea, Shaun Inman, etc. - using Macs. What’s the connection?

Andy Budd said on November 19, 2004 9:24 AM

Hi Jonathan,

I have to admit that I’m not really sure why so many standards enthusiasts are also Mac users, but at least 25% of my site visitors are using a Mac.

Here are a couple of reasons why I use a Mac:

Also I honestly prefer Apples ethos to that of Microsoft or other PC manufacturers. Like all companies Apple wants to turn a profit, but not at the expense of quality and innovation. In some ways that’s similar to web standards practitioners. We want to do things the right way, not the quickest, easiest and cheapest way.

Small Paul said on November 19, 2004 9:58 AM

Macs live longer, are virus- and spyware-free, have cutting edge technology earlier (USB, FireWire, 802.11b - I have all these in my pink iMac from 2000), and now with Mac OS X have all the fun of Unix (i.e. lots of cool free and open source software) with a beautiful GUI, plus digital hub applications (iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD) that integrate wonderfully and are very nice to use… I could go on.

Rob McMichael said on November 19, 2004 10:50 AM

Im getting the last train up from Brighton tonight :|

Not sure if I want to do it, but me and my mate are sort of egging each other on…

I hear there is a 24 hours MacyD near by for coffee and lard (which will be needed)

Will be taking some pickys if you want to blog them with your report ;)

Richard Earney said on November 19, 2004 11:06 AM

Apparently someone went by the Apple Store at 8am this (Friday) morning and people were queuing!!!!!!!

Also the MacyDs will probably not have any lard as there is a national lard shortage!!!

Andrew Phillipo said on November 19, 2004 12:10 PM

I work on Kingley Street, all of 1minute away from Regent Street. Perhaps I should pull a late one at work tonight, to get some coding done of course… :-) Lucky bags sound pretty cool, however they are a marketing ploy designed to make the opening a little bit mental - in the past its been about a 1 in 6 chance of getting an iPod! The store does look a bit special tho.

Richard Earney said on November 19, 2004 2:31 PM

I went by at lunchtime and there are 10-12 people camped out - and it is COLD!!

The store has a huge expanse of space!

Jonathan Fenocchi said on November 19, 2004 4:18 PM

Thanks for the comments, those who responded; I’m looking into getting a Mac, but the last remaining question is on software compatibility. Will I have to do most of my work on Windows since the software I have (Adobe products etc.) is Windows-only? Anyway, thanks a lot guys. :)

Andy Budd said on November 19, 2004 8:22 PM

I’ve never really thought about it, but I guess you own a licence, not the actual software. I wonder if you downloaded a Mac version you could use the same key?

Rob McMichael said on November 19, 2004 8:34 PM

Ok Andy, this may be a first but I am typing from outside a starbucks in the que for the store…

Not going to type much more as my fingers can’t hack the cold. Will be photos later


Andy Budd said on November 19, 2004 8:53 PM

Hey Rob,

Well done mate. I’m very impressed. I’ve just been reading on ifoapplestore that the queue was at 113 by 7pm so I’m guessing it’ll be hitting the 200 mark pretty soon.

Hope you manage to last the cold. You should probably take it in turns keeping the space and nipping into Starbucks to keep warm. It’s gonna be a cold one tonight. I’ll be down just before opening so I’ll come up and say hi. I’d ask you to pick up a lucky bag for me, but that would be a far too cheeky :-)

Good Luck and keep warm.


Jonathan Fenocchi said on November 19, 2004 10:39 PM

Hmm, I do own a license for it, but the CD only has the Windows version on it. I’ll have to look into seeing if they will send a Mac version to me if I have a valid key… or just download a free Mac version of it and use the same key I have for the Windows one, and see if that works. Thanks for the suggestion, Andy. :)

Rob McMichael said on November 20, 2004 1:11 AM

Well it is about 1am now, very cold but great atmosphere. Got a pizza at about 10 which kept us walm for a bit but the cold is closing in now.

Think there are about 300 people in the que now, so no point coming for a luckbag now :(

I have some photos I will send to Andy at some point, if this network can cope and he has time to put them in here it should be fun. (I have realized I am starting to become incoherent)

Will try an update in the morn!


Andrew Hume said on November 20, 2004 7:21 AM

Just on my way out now…

I think it’s going to be pretty busy right? Exciting though, I can’t wait.