Best Buy made a pragmatic decision today - the day it opened its second UK store. Nothing rivals major Apple product launches in terms of hype and Best Buy has promoted the news that it's stocking the iPad above even news of the store, in acknowledgement of the iPad's far superior pulling power.
Just as with the Thurrock opening, Best Buy has a bunch of opening weekend offers at the store, including the chance to get all your money back on the purchase of a TV that costs £499 or more if England wins the World Cup. In fact, so many retailers seem to be offering this kind of deal it's quite possible that the UK economy will suffer a fatal blow if England wins the thing.
Of course there are no incentives or price promotions for the iPad, which has attracted the customary overnight queuers at the flagship Regent Street store - the person at the head of the queue having been there since 2pm yesterday. The Daily Mail has a thorough summary of all the iPad mania, including an opinion piece entitled "Why I hate Apple, the infuriating cult making people smug bores".
Such is the polarising effect of Apple, celebrity Apple-lover Stephen Fry has been moved to blog on the matter. As you would expect, it's quite funny and perceptive. Here are some choice bits:
"The causes that lead some to hate everything Apple are complicated and various, but they are certainly not rational. Hate never is. Nor indeed is love. We are dealing with emotions here, not thoughts. Apple divides people in tribal, primal and almost frightening ways.
"The fact that I will have turned off my website's comments facility or moderated it into effective silence is even now driving some of my readers (a tiny minority I'm happy to think) insane. They are dreaming up insults about me and the iPad and dripping with cunning clever remarks to show what a fool, what a pretentious idiot, what a preening, posturing pseud of a lame waste of skin I am to champion Apple and their controlling commercial ways, their over-proprietary software, firmware and hardware and their whole corporate style.
"It is their right and their need not just to disagree with me but to grab me by the scruff of the neck and push me face down in their prose until I squeal for mercy and admit that the iPad is a failure and a disgrace, that I am a fool and a nothing for falling for it and they are supreme and knowing and right, dammit, and why won't anyone listen???
"One hurtful, mean-spirited, vicious or intemperate comment ruins everything. Absolutely everything. One turd spoils the whole bath. You cannot say to someone about to lower themselves in, ‘Don't be a wimp, it's only a small turd, the rest of the water is crystal clear.' So I would rather have no comment at all. Call me weak, call me pusillanimous, call me craven, call me anything, only don't do it here."