(Head Honcho)
02/02/08 05:22 AM
MacBook Air vanishes into thin air? Apple Store confusion a mess

If you've been following threads on Mac sites, especially, you've noticed that getting a MacBook Air, now on demo at most Apple Stores, is harder than getting a photo of Paris H. in her skivvies (OK, getting that photo might be lots easier). For those who missed it, the Mac Book Air is Apple's new absurdly slim subnotebook, that's arguably prettier than most of Paris' parts.

The MacBook Air is trickling into Apple Stores across the US, which means there's a slim possibility of picking one up, but getting a straight answer from store employees isn't. We called the 4 stores in the Dallas Metroplex and 2 in Silicon Valley near Apple's HQ and heard a variety of stories, none of which matched what we heard when we showed up in person (at least at Dallas area stores). We called one Dallas store and asked if the MacBook Air was in yet. We were told that the demo units were in but not units for sale. We asked when the clerk though they might have sale units in and were told that "Apple is a publicly traded company and we can't divulge that information". Gee, aren't publicly traded companies supposed to say "we have cool products, come buy them!"? Since when is a product announced at a major trade show (MacWorld) that's listed for sale on the company web site with demos in store something the sales clerks can't talk about? The culture of silence has gone too far.

When we appeared in person at the same Dallas area stores we were told they had in fact received shipments for sale by the time we'd called but sorry, they're gone. It seems the party line is "we don't have 'em" if you call, but if you show up, you find out you were a sucker for believing them, and the units in fact came and went. Who though it could be so hard to spend 2-3 grand at an Apple store? Guess the machine isn't the niche flop some reviewers made it out to be . The MacBook Airs seem to be vanishing into thin air.


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