What it’s really like to work at an Apple Store


Lots of people work retail. And most of the time, the job is more or less the same, no matter what company you work for or what you’re selling. Unless you work at an Apple Store.

Those lucky few hired to sell these coveted gadgets serve as the gatekeepers into the notoriously secret world of Apple. They are the face of a company that has changed the world of technology and the way humans feel and interact with it. And, most importantly to us tech junkies, they must know something we don’t… right? They have inside scoop into what Cupertino’s cooking, yes?

To give us the real story, Popular Mechanics convinced one Apple minion — who remains anonymous — to break the company’s “code of silence” and give us the run-down on what it’s actually like to work for Apple — at least at the ground level.

As you might have guessed, Apple Store employees are kept “completely in the dark” about new Apple products “until they do a keynote speech,” said the anonymous Apple Store employee. (For simplicity’s sake, let’s call him “Ted.”) In fact, according to Ted, the keynote is so important, employees can skip work to watch it from home. But if Apple Store workers try to guess what Apple might have in the pipeline, they could easily be fired.

“I am asked five times per day about the next iPad or iPhone, and I quite simply don’t know,” said Ted. “But I would be in huge trouble if I said something like ‘The next iPad is going to have a camera.'”

The job has other hazards, too. Like customers who “have complete meltdowns” in the store in an attempt to get what they want, or swarms of “drug dealers” who try to buy iPhones with fake credit cards and stolen Social Security numbers.

When the iPad first launched, says Ted, the Apple Stores were flooded with “tons” of Chinese resellers who would create email addresses from the stores’ public computers, so they could reserve an iPad for purchase (a requirement at the time). “We’d get a lot of weird e-mail addresses, like 9494893@ymail.com,” Ted said. “And they tried to haggle us on the price for iPads! This is Apple—no way would that work.”

Apple Store employees aren’t the only ones getting the raw end of the deal. According to Ted, Apple workers regularly lie to customers about unlocking their phones. “We usually have to tell them that if they unlock their iPhone, it won’t work,” Ted said. “That it’s going to be like a $700 paperweight, and that the antenna will fry itself on T-Mobile. Of course, that’s not true, but that’s what we tell them.”

And while Ted admits that Apple can sometimes “feel like a cult,” it’s really the competitive nature of the place that gets you. “Normally I’m pretty low-key,” Ted admitted, “but when I’m at the store, it’s all sell, sell, sell!”

To read “Ted’s” full Apple Store confession, click here.

(Image via)


Apple is still selling iPhones in China despite being ordered not to

Apple is following the FTC's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.

The best iPad deals for December 2018

In the wide world of tablets, Apple is still the king. If you're on team Apple and just can't live without iOS, we've curated an up-to-date list of all of the best iPad deals currently available for December 2018.

The best iPhone deals for December 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for December 2018.

The best Apple Watch deals for December 2018

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.

Need a quick battery boost? Try one of our favorite portable chargers

Battery life still tops the polls when it comes to smartphone concerns. If it’s bugging you, then maybe it’s time to snag yourself a portable charger. Here are our picks of the best portable chargers.

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.

Which Macs are compatible with MacOS Mojave?

Is your computer ready for Apple's big Mojave update? Here's what you need to know about MacOS Mojave compatibility, what Macs can successful download Mojave, and the requirements you need to know about.

MacBook Pro battery replacement: Everything you need to know

Looking for a new battery for your MacBook Pro? It's important you know what to look for, what model you have, and what options Apple gives you! We'll cover everything you need to know about Apple MacBook Pro battery replacement.

Is somebody watching you? How to stop apps from tracking your location

If you don't like the idea of your every movement being tracked by apps on the phone in your pocket, then you may want to turn location tracking off. We take a look at how to do it on an iPhone or Android phone in this easy guide.

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.

The best protective iPhone cases to defend against dirt, dings, and drops

If you’re going off-road or work outdoors, it could be a good idea to invest in a tough case. These are our picks of the best protective iPhone cases for all iterations of the iPhone, from the iPhone XS to the 7.

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.