Apple Buyers' Guide: Where To Shop And Get Support - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

08:56 AM

Apple Buyers' Guide: Where To Shop And Get Support

You can get your Apple fix at the Apple Store, online, or at your local computer dealer, where you also can get help when things go wrong.

If you want to buy a Mac -- or an accessory for your current Mac -- you've got plenty of places to go.

The Apple Store

I never felt the allure of the Apple Store until I became an Apple owner myself.

Prior to buying a Mac, I dismissed the Apple Store with a shrug. I thought: It's a store. They sell Apple products. So what? Now I realize that the Apple Store is a spa for owners of Apple products. It's a place where you can relax, soak in the healing rays of Steve Jobs, and exfoliate away the residue of living in a Windows-dominated world.

Most electronics stores are like cafeterias. They're harshly lit, unpleasant environments. The merchandise is stacked up willy-nilly and hard to find. The sales staff also is hard to find, and when you do find them, they're often off in a corner somewhere chatting amongst themselves. They have better things to do than talk to the likes of you.

But the Apple buying experience is designed to make you feel special, part of the discerning few who were smart enough to break from the dirty-fingernailed Windows herd and buy products from Apple. You can buy any Apple product at an Apple Store, and many third-party accessories, such as cases and speakers for your iPod. The products are attractively laid out on tables and you're encouraged play with them -- check your Webmail on the iMacs, or look something up on Google, using the store's free Wi-Fi (Apple was one of the first retail chains to offer free Wi-Fi). The sales staff is helpful, knowledgeable, young, multiethnic, and supernaturally scrubbed and good-looking, like they all walked out of a Benetton ad.

Third-Party Retailers

However attractive the Apple store is, if you're a price-conscious consumer, you can often find better prices by shopping elsewhere.

For example, if you don't need the in-person experience, you can find good deals on the Internet. Some sites recommended to me by dedicated Mac users include:

Your friendly neighborhood Mac dealer also is a good source. Again, some recommendations from Mac enthusiasts:

If you don't live in any of those areas, ask your local Apple user group for a recommendation. You'll want to find an Apple specialist; don't just buy at any retail chain with a few Macs in the corner, you'll be paying full retail price without getting the benefit of personalized, knowledgeable service.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
1 of 2
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
Diversity in IT: The Business and Moral Reasons
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  6/20/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
A New World of IT Management in 2019
This IT Trend Report highlights how several years of developments in technology and business strategies have led to a subsequent wave of changes in the role of an IT organization, how CIOs and other IT leaders approach management, in addition to the jobs of many IT professionals up and down the org chart.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll