Andy's choice (I am too quick)...
I love this story that Apple's PR machine is pushing out to mark the launch of its new, and first, store in Oz. Apple is trying to get over that their shops are not really there to flog you things, they are there to help raise their profile and let people see and research the various bits of kit because they know people can and will buy from other retailers (the Apple shops are not a main distribution channel for Apple). They have got this over to fans in Oz by telling the story of Isobella Jade, a 5ft 2inch model who apparently used the New York, SoHo Apple Shop for 18 months as her office.
She went into the store every day to check her emails, update her website and write her memoirs about the struggle of finding work as a short-arse model.
She used the Apple equipment every day... and Apple are loving this story to the extent that they are pushing it globally. I love Apple, Isobella loves Apple and generally everyone apart from Captain Bill loves Apple. What a nice, fluffy, public relations story.
It has long been common knowledge that Dell, the computer giant... you know, the one that advertises deals in papers that are never the same price when you add all the extra bits - has been struggling to maintain its phenomenal growth. Well, a few years after banging the drum about not ever going into shops because they could keep prices down if they continued going direct to consumers, they started stocking in PC World. Now it is alleged that they are looking for even more distribution partners and are going to be having their own certification for in store engineers and alike.
I don't know all the Dell facts but for me, as a consumer looking in, it looks like they have lost their way a bit. They are going off on all these new sales tangents and just need to get back to basics; beat others on price and quality.
I have read the Michael Dell book (sorry Nick, yes, I still have it) and it was a cracking read, but maybe, since he left and then came back, the company has lost its hunger.
Michael Dell asks all those who are confused by their PC pricing to raise a hand