Thursday, July 7

We have gone to an Apple Store on a Tuesday at three in the morning to find out who buys in the Apple Store on a Tuesday at three in the morning

All Apple Stores in the world, all 519, have opening and closing hours. All except one. Possibly the best known, surely the most iconic, is the one located on Fifth Avenue in New York, at the southeastern end of Central Park. The glass cube that never lowers the shutter: open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Taking advantage of the fact that the Pisuerga passes through Valladolid and that this son of Torrent walks along the Hudson, we wanted to reveal for the readers of Xataka one of the unknowns that surround this store: who the hell buys what in an Apple Store on any given Tuesday at three in the morning. Because one thing is what a basic necessity business sells, such as a pharmacy on duty, or not-so-necessary but with visceral urgency, like a kebab next to a nightlife zone: you should not underestimate what a dürüm can raise when all the cats are brown. And quite another is an Apple device.


The thing is, contrary to what one might intuit, an Apple Store in the city that never sleeps if you have something of first necessity. At least in the first world.

Lots of chargers and a yellow HomePod mini

We approached the iconic cube exactly on a nondescript Tuesday in June a little before three in the morning, the agreed time. Very few people in sight in the immediate vicinity, although right outside the door is a fast food cart, more typical of Manhattan than the French toast on Easter Monday. in this prepare pretzels Y hot dogs. We went downstairs thinking that a puppy would be fine at that hour.

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Access from the cube to the store, entirely underground.

A first human count on the entire visible surface of the Apple Store: two security members at the first entrance, two others in the store itself, sixteen customers, twelve employees and one person from the cleaning team. That adds up to sixteen clients for seventeen workers adding dependents, cleaners and securities. And that only in the area open to the public: if there are more employees in the private area. The version retail of “more chiefs than Indians”.

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And a first look to detect what kind of clientele swarms between iPad and iPad: surprisingly, there are people waiting for a repairexplaining to the store personnel the problem of his MacBook Pro or looking at an iPhone that does not turn on with the face of a civil servant with a newly frozen salary.

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Some people waiting to be attended by a technician to repair their equipment.

After canvassing a couple of customers for the life situation that has brought them here to that moment—one with Asian features barely spoke broken English, another seemed more hostile than friendly to questions from a stranger without an employee shirt—we found a woman in her forties with a much more candid appearance insisting to a worker, blue shirt and logo on the chest, about why HomePod mini is better, yellow or orange. Possibly the kind of person who thinks it reasonable to think that if she paints her car red it will run a little faster.

Admiring the patience of the assistant unable to give him a satisfactory answer, although thus chronicling the absurdity, I notice that a customer from the end arrives with a huge yellow Samsonite (signs?) and a hiking backpack full of carabiners, a gadget just below of the HomePod mini in terms of the habit of buying many more than is really necessary. In this tourist who was browsing the area of ​​small accessories I found a clue.


From there I went to a very kind employee whom I had the pleasure to ask about this question arguing that it was the first time that I had visited an Apple Store and that I had been surprised that it was open at that time, since I stretched the sleeve of my jacket to camouflage my Apple Watch Series 7 and stuck the iPhone 13 Pro Max in my pocket.

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He was kind enough to answer me, looking discreetly at the traveler of the Samsonite, possibly a Teutonic or Bavarian, to give me a first clue: there are tourists who have just arrived from the airport who stop by Apple before their hotel to replace a charger, a cable or a pair of headphones that they forgot at home. Or a charging adapter when they realized that the plugs are different in various regions of the world. Award for the Apple Watch charging cable as the king of absentmindedness. The cube, to the rescue.

Similar to this group is another composed of people who have broken their iPhone, like the Hispanic who is still sitting there and can’t wait to fix it, so go there, even from other cities, not just from New York. And who says iPhone says Mac, a product linked to the professional environment where it is not permissible to spend time without it available. That is why they practice repairs any day at any time.

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The 3 D’s

The time slot we went to (from 2:50 to 3:45) was pure inertia and intuition, but it ended up being capital: they tell us that between two and six is ​​when there is less activity. Before two o’clock is a time that is still reasonable for those who go out from dinner or work and take the opportunity to take a look or to make any purchase, without the need for any urgency. After six, normal life begins in Manhattan.

There is also another group that is more numerous than it may seem: that of tourists who prioritize getting to know the city at night and sleep during the day. “There are people who do it because that way they prefer to come with less stress, with much fewer people, and it goes more calmly. And there are also people who prefer to see New York at night rather than during the day, so everything they can visit at dawn, like seeing the external architecture of some buildings or coming to this Apple Store, and maybe they get here at four in the tomorrow, but it seems normal to them.”

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One of the exhibitors, with straps for the Apple Watch, adapted to Pride, like the rest of the city.

There is even room for low level blackmailer. “There are people who visit the United States and take the opportunity to buy electronics from their acquaintances because in their country it is very expensive or very difficult to obtain. They still come to take five or six iPhones, or two or three Macs, and they usually prefer to come when there are fewer people”.

This humble keybreaker would love to tell more exotic stories with crazy characters about what’s going on in an Apple store at dawn, but the truth is that once his curiosity was broken, there wasn’t much more substance left.

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I could “give color” to this text by saying that I raised the spirit of the room by putting Chanel in full brown on four stereo pairs of the HomePod mini (if the lady has already concluded if yellow or orange sound better) and that I only had to go up to see the pretzels to return with a mango juice and continue the party from my DJ position, but unfortunately none of that happened. An Apple Store at dawn is a peach in syrup for dessert: it does its job, but it doesn’t solace the soul.

Without much more to tell, we said goodbye to this store to return to the hotel, already knowing what happens in an Apple Store in the forbidden hour, relegated to the virtuous triangle of the 3 ‘D’: clueless, unhappy and disoriented. Those of forgetfulness, those of breakdowns and those of night walks during the week.

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