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Apple, do they breed fanatics?

I don't mind Apple (opinion of me ‘Carl' not ‘Kitguru). Yeah, its not cool to say that here. I know a lot of our readers hate Apple with a passion. Im actually rather neutral when it comes to their products. I think the iPad is genuinely a great product, but ive never bought one. Ive used one quite regularly and like it. I have an HTC phone and I just bought a Windows Surface tablet, and I love them both. Windows 8 is growing on me … well on the tablet anyway.

My girlfriend loves Apple, with a passion. She has an iPod, iPad, Laptop and desktop computer. She watches all the video feeds when they come to launch a new product. She thought Steve Jobs was a tech god. I class it almost as addiction in her case, and its not the first time ive seen it. Im not judging, each to their own.

We were in an Apple store recently and she was chatting with one of the staff, he was a ‘Genius'. As Apple call them. He was a nice guy, quite short and carrying an iPad, with stickers on the back. And boy was he fanatical about their products. I watched from a slight distance as my girlfriend interacted with him. I was taken aback a little by his passion for the products and to be fair he did seem to know a lot about them. If I worked in there I think id become very disillusioned, very quickly. Im getting cynical in my old age.

Do Apple really train these guys or are they brought into the company with an addiction for Apple products already in place? If I walk into PCWorld here, im lucky to get a grunt of acknowledgement if I ask a question. Not that I really need to get a question answered, but I like testing the staff. I would assume quite a few of our readers have done it too. I think some of the younger guys in PCWorld know the geeks out to take the piss. I got a knowing smile from a manager last time I was in, he was basically acknowledging that I knew more than his staff, but he didn't care. He has probably not cared for a very long time. He gets the wage, pays his bills and does as little as he can get away with.

Thats the problem with many physical retail stores now, the staff just don't care. They say that retail stores are dying – they blame the internet. Amazon and online etail giants are killing them.

Im afraid I don't have much sympathy for them. The service is dire. Ill keep buying from Amazon and other internet sites. I don't mind paying a little extra to help a local PC store stay alive, if the staff are knowledgeable and helpful. Why would I pay more locally to get grunted at when I can get it online for less, with free delivery? Its not like im helping Josh, a guy from the village who wants to help me and has a genuine passion for the tech industry.

So, while I know its common place to mock Apple, I do give them credit, they service their customers well in the stores. I do have a bit of a hard time calling some of them a ‘genius' however. Come on, its not that hard, really.

The image ive attached to this post, was when the iPhone 5 launched, I found it online and it shows the staff outside celebrating the launch. Some might claim it was staged, but I don't know, most of the Apple employees ive met are really determined to ensure that i leave the store with a knowledge that their products are just so much better than anything else. They live, breathe and sleep Apple. How do they do it?

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