How many hipsters do you need for an Apple upgrade?


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The Independent Online

A lifetime of cack-handedness means I’ve spent more than my fair share of Saturdays at Apple Store Genius Bars begging them to replace a cracked screen for free, hoping they don’t notice the red moisture indicator on my phone that screams “She dropped me down the toilet!”, or waiting patiently for them to dig my Sherlock DVD out of a broken disc drive.

With my latest iPhone once again broken, I headed to the flagship store on Regent Street yesterday, readying myself for the  tricky task of trying to get a last-minute appointment with a “genius”.

As soon as I walk in, I’m set upon by three blue-shirted boys with glasses and hipster beards. I ask for an appointment and tell them it’s urgent. They usher me over to a laptop and explain that I need to book a slot online. The next one available is at 5pm. Not too bad, but I need to write my article before then, so I make pleading eyes and whine: “It really is urgent.”

“Not a problem,” says beardy No 1. “Let’s check what’s available at our Covent Garden store.” Sure enough, the shop in Covent Garden has an appointment in 30 minutes. Beardy even offers me directions.

Four Tube stops later, I’m in Covent Garden. I approach another, slightly less beardy hipster, who scrolls down her iPad and ticks off my name. “Someone will be with you in 10 minutes,” she says, herding me into the waiting area.

I entertain myself on a shiny MacBook while I wait for my genius. Bang on cue, three appear at once (do they travel in packs?) and immediately start diagnosing my iPhone.

We chat amiably about the weather and one compliments me on my sunglasses. I tell them my battery sometimes dies at 20 per cent and, true to form, after five minutes of fiddling my machine gives up and a forlorn “no battery” symbol appears on its screen. Their verdict? Time for an upgrade. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out.

The phone might be on its last legs, but at least the service was pretty good this time around.