Don’t try to use your iPhone inside an Apple store

Abdul Tarbzouni, right before Apple employee asked us to stop taking photos of each other

I am inside the Apple Burlingame store with Maryam and Patrick (we were here to try out and buy some new cases). Abdul Tarbzouni just met me (he’s here to buy a case too). He has an iPhone. He is attending MIT studying computer science. He wanted to take a photo of me. And I wanted to take a photo of him. The problem is that an Apple employee came up to me and said it’s Apple policy that photography isn’t allowed in the store. I gave some lip back and she threatened to kick me out of the store. God, I love Apple sometimes. Spend lots of money. Buy lots of iPhones. Just don’t try to use them inside an Apple store.

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. I don’t think that is heavily enforced in all stores. I brought my big dSLR into an Apple store a while ago, snapped a few pics in plain site of employees and no one seemed to care.

  2. I don’t think that is heavily enforced in all stores. I brought my big dSLR into an Apple store a while ago, snapped a few pics in plain site of employees and no one seemed to care.

  3. That’s strange as all the demo phones allow you to take pics. Sounds like some little worker bee was just being difficult. And we’ve seen plenty of Flickr pics from other Apple stores.

  4. That’s strange as all the demo phones allow you to take pics. Sounds like some little worker bee was just being difficult. And we’ve seen plenty of Flickr pics from other Apple stores.

  5. I’ve heard the no photography inside the Apple store policy, and while I don’t agree with it, it is their store.

    That being said, the girl at the checkout counter in the background, wowzers.

  6. I’ve heard the no photography inside the Apple store policy, and while I don’t agree with it, it is their store.

    That being said, the girl at the checkout counter in the background, wowzers.

  7. Hmm. I wonder if that’s why none of the cameras have batteries installed anymore (at least in the Cincinnati, OH store.)

  8. Hmm. I wonder if that’s why none of the cameras have batteries installed anymore (at least in the Cincinnati, OH store.)

  9. I had a similar problem at Starbucks. They asked me if we were employees. When we said no, they stated photography was not allowed. When pressed they suggested that was for security reasons (ala homeland security banning airport screening photographs)..

    Needless to say, I feel much safer ordering my tall nonfat no water chai now..

  10. I’ve never understood things like this. Whole Foods is another entity that apparently disallows photography. I don’t see why… is there some kind of industry secret involved in the way they organize their produce?

  11. I had a similar problem at Starbucks. They asked me if we were employees. When we said no, they stated photography was not allowed. When pressed they suggested that was for security reasons (ala homeland security banning airport screening photographs)..

    Needless to say, I feel much safer ordering my tall nonfat no water chai now..

  12. I’ve never understood things like this. Whole Foods is another entity that apparently disallows photography. I don’t see why… is there some kind of industry secret involved in the way they organize their produce?

  13. Lol. Guess Steve never read your book.

    It’s a shame; Apple’s tightly controlled administrative methods are going to bite them in the butt one day.

  14. Lol. Guess Steve never read your book.

    It’s a shame; Apple’s tightly controlled administrative methods are going to bite them in the butt one day.

  15. yeah, you have to do everything non-chalantly, so you just look like your dialing the iphone or whatever and your actually taking a picture hahaha.

    As someone who has actively supported and switched MANY users to apple, I get disturbed with apples strict policy on pretty much anything, sometimes it gets to a point where you just want to tell them how much you pay them to talk down to you.

    However, I love them too much to talk to consumerist.

  16. yeah, you have to do everything non-chalantly, so you just look like your dialing the iphone or whatever and your actually taking a picture hahaha.

    As someone who has actively supported and switched MANY users to apple, I get disturbed with apples strict policy on pretty much anything, sometimes it gets to a point where you just want to tell them how much you pay them to talk down to you.

    However, I love them too much to talk to consumerist.

  17. Well, I take photos all the time.

    Anytime I’m on vacation, I step into an Apple Store and use the closest iMac or ‘book to shoot a lame “thumbs up” shot for my kids at home. Then I log into my Gmail from Safari and email it away.

    Ha! Take that Steve-o.

  18. Well, I take photos all the time.

    Anytime I’m on vacation, I step into an Apple Store and use the closest iMac or ‘book to shoot a lame “thumbs up” shot for my kids at home. Then I log into my Gmail from Safari and email it away.

    Ha! Take that Steve-o.

  19. Have you considered that that they (Apple, Whole Foods, etc.) prohibit photography out of respect for their customers’ privacy? Not everybody enjoys having their picture taken, so they therefore they prohibit the activity entirely.

  20. Have you considered that that they (Apple, Whole Foods, etc.) prohibit photography out of respect for their customers’ privacy? Not everybody enjoys having their picture taken, so they therefore they prohibit the activity entirely.

  21. Apple does not let customers take pictures of their displays, employees, and other parts of their stores. The face they got mad for you taking pictures of each other is ridiculous.

  22. Apple does not let customers take pictures of their displays, employees, and other parts of their stores. The face they got mad for you taking pictures of each other is ridiculous.

  23. Thats such a joke. Assume the following conversation.
    Hey sales rep can you show me how to take a photo with this thing that I just paid $600 for?
    Sorry not allowed to do that.

  24. Thats such a joke. Assume the following conversation.
    Hey sales rep can you show me how to take a photo with this thing that I just paid $600 for?
    Sorry not allowed to do that.

  25. That’s surprising. Store policy or corporate policy? Because I’ve taken lots of pictures inside Apple Stores here in Honolulu.

    And for both the iPhone, and for a recent store grand opening, not only did I take plenty of video inside the store, but the videos I posted online were apparently passed around the internal network. I got comments from several Apple folks, most working behind the scenes.

    In both cases, it seemed the management of the malls in which the stores were located were more nervous about all the cameras than the Apple Store folks.

  26. That’s surprising. Store policy or corporate policy? Because I’ve taken lots of pictures inside Apple Stores here in Honolulu.

    And for both the iPhone, and for a recent store grand opening, not only did I take plenty of video inside the store, but the videos I posted online were apparently passed around the internal network. I got comments from several Apple folks, most working behind the scenes.

    In both cases, it seemed the management of the malls in which the stores were located were more nervous about all the cameras than the Apple Store folks.

  27. Retail stores don’t let you take pictures because competitors, suppliers, etc. would be doing it all the time….in fact, that kind of competitive intelligence is so important in retail, so pictures get taken anyway,….

  28. Retail stores don’t let you take pictures because competitors, suppliers, etc. would be doing it all the time….in fact, that kind of competitive intelligence is so important in retail, so pictures get taken anyway,….

  29. It’s a very common policy not to allow photographs or videotaping. Most of the time it’s considered by the employees to be a dumb or stupid rule. It is however their store, just like the common rule “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” you’re sorta bound by their rules. Heck, years ago when I bought my now obsolete JVC GYX-2Bu video ring, a camera that cost several thousand dollars I was not allowed to crank it up and take video of the inside of the dealer showfloor.

  30. It’s a very common policy not to allow photographs or videotaping. Most of the time it’s considered by the employees to be a dumb or stupid rule. It is however their store, just like the common rule “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” you’re sorta bound by their rules. Heck, years ago when I bought my now obsolete JVC GYX-2Bu video ring, a camera that cost several thousand dollars I was not allowed to crank it up and take video of the inside of the dealer showfloor.

  31. Apple can do any number of stupid things. Then, when the next slick, shiny new piece of hardware comes out, folks like yourself will go spend tons of money on it.

  32. Apple can do any number of stupid things. Then, when the next slick, shiny new piece of hardware comes out, folks like yourself will go spend tons of money on it.

  33. I can confirm that Starbucks’ policy was no photography in the stores; at least it was when I was a barista.

    I don’t know if it is there to prevent people taking “casing” photos that could later be used to plan a robbery (or worse), or if it’s to make it harder for people to duplicate the Starbucks look in other stores, or maybe both. Or possibly some other reason entirely. Sorry.

  34. I can confirm that Starbucks’ policy was no photography in the stores; at least it was when I was a barista.

    I don’t know if it is there to prevent people taking “casing” photos that could later be used to plan a robbery (or worse), or if it’s to make it harder for people to duplicate the Starbucks look in other stores, or maybe both. Or possibly some other reason entirely. Sorry.

  35. I was in up in Redmond a while back and I wanted to show my wife (back in NZ) what the produce selection inside a WholeFoods was like.

    So out came my camera, after about 2 photos I got told off, seems I could be a competitor doing surveillance or something. The fact that if I was a competitor I would probably do it more discreetly is besides the point of course.

    Why let common sense get in the way of an annoying policy?

  36. I was in up in Redmond a while back and I wanted to show my wife (back in NZ) what the produce selection inside a WholeFoods was like.

    So out came my camera, after about 2 photos I got told off, seems I could be a competitor doing surveillance or something. The fact that if I was a competitor I would probably do it more discreetly is besides the point of course.

    Why let common sense get in the way of an annoying policy?

  37. thomashan: I said “you’ve gotta be kidding me.” After all, I’ve taken probably hundreds pictures in a variety of Apple stores.

    Paul, we originally bought some inCase leather ones, but tried them out and they didn’t fit. Returned those, now we’re with the inCase rubber ones. You can see Patrick holding his phone with one over on my Flickr feeds.

  38. thomashan: I said “you’ve gotta be kidding me.” After all, I’ve taken probably hundreds pictures in a variety of Apple stores.

    Paul, we originally bought some inCase leather ones, but tried them out and they didn’t fit. Returned those, now we’re with the inCase rubber ones. You can see Patrick holding his phone with one over on my Flickr feeds.

  39. So funny that sometimes they just dont get it. Buy the iPhone but you are not supposed to use it in the srore. Crazy.

  40. So funny that sometimes they just dont get it. Buy the iPhone but you are not supposed to use it in the srore. Crazy.

  41. This post is a bit misleading.

    Apple encourages customers to try out all the functionality of the phone in the store. Calling, SMS, e-mail, and yeah.. even photos.

    You may have been annoying customers.. ;)

  42. This post is a bit misleading.

    Apple encourages customers to try out all the functionality of the phone in the store. Calling, SMS, e-mail, and yeah.. even photos.

    You may have been annoying customers.. ;)

  43. cubiclewars: Nope, we didn’t have time to annoy customers. I had made only one image and was immediately swooped down upon by the Apple employee. In fact she’s in the image above right before she came over and told me off (on the right side).

  44. cubiclewars: Nope, we didn’t have time to annoy customers. I had made only one image and was immediately swooped down upon by the Apple employee. In fact she’s in the image above right before she came over and told me off (on the right side).

  45. cubiclewars: and I have witnesses to what went down. I should have turned on the video capabilities of my Nokia and recorded the whole interaction. But then I would have gotten kicked out. Next time!

  46. cubiclewars: and I have witnesses to what went down. I should have turned on the video capabilities of my Nokia and recorded the whole interaction. But then I would have gotten kicked out. Next time!

  47. I used to have to enforce a “no photos” rule.

    It was a museum, “The Computer Museum” in Boston, Mass. Folks would pull out cameras and we’d have to tell them sorry, but no photography. They were welcome to buy commercial photo sets in the museum gift shop but they couldn’t take pictures themselves.

    The reason really was the insurance company.

    A policy that allowed general photography would have cost significantly more. The folks making those decisions didn’t consider that money well spent, so we went with the cheaper no-photos policy.

    Why were photo sets, documentaries filming in our galleries, and such “safer” then J. Random Public shots? Because we knew the pros weren’t going to be focusing on security systems and the like. Also by the time they were published or broadcast the material would be somewhat dated and we’d have possibly changed layouts and/or security measures.

    Sure a thief or vandal might still surreptitiously take photos for analysis & planning but at least they’d not be out-in-the-open best-quality shots. Also if we did see the camera we’d now have noticed the person, possibly evicted them, but at least be paying closer attention to their activities in our galleries, possibly changing security measures (I used to have an Apple 1 board sitting out in the open 10’ from my office door.)

    I’ll also acknowledge that the floor staff loathed certain types of photographers.

    There are few things more annoying then giving a tour or answering a question and having a flash go off in your face. Or everyone inconvenienced while a family or group poses for “the perfect shot”, blocking an exhibit or hallway, making everyone uncomfortable. I even had some try to herd all other visitors away from an exhibit or out of a gallery they wanted to photograph.

    Back to Apple, they’ve had a number of well publicized store thefts. They knew that the iPhone introduction would draw crowds so they likely reminded everyone of photography policies. And there was probably some concern about criminal acts that accompanied other high profile introductions like gaming consoles.

    So Apple having a “no photos” rule, and reminding their staff to enforce it, doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me.

    I gotta also point out that find the ire expressed a bit ironic. Scoble has championed the idea of the blogger as journalist, deserving of the privileges of other journalists. He’s also certainly well aware of most companies policies regarding dealings with the press (as evidenced in the recent post regarding an interviewee being fired.) So apparently walking into a store and taking photos for his blog is different from other media interactions–how? Would setting up a guerrilla video interview be also acceptable? At what point does it become unreasonable, at what point does personal activities become professional, at what point isn’t it polite to let the store manager know whats going on?

    Finally, giving a clerk following policy “some lip back”? Tell me you weren’t as rude as that.

    — Maggard

    (BTW The assumption most folks at The Computer Museum made, including the museum floor staff before they inquired, was the no-photos policy was a way of squeezing a few more bucks from our visitors. In fact the money we made off photo sets in the museum gift shop was negligible and the shelf space would’ve been more profitable featuring gadget pens or such. We explicitly had the photo sets available as a courtesy in response to the no photos policy.)

  48. I used to have to enforce a “no photos” rule.

    It was a museum, “The Computer Museum” in Boston, Mass. Folks would pull out cameras and we’d have to tell them sorry, but no photography. They were welcome to buy commercial photo sets in the museum gift shop but they couldn’t take pictures themselves.

    The reason really was the insurance company.

    A policy that allowed general photography would have cost significantly more. The folks making those decisions didn’t consider that money well spent, so we went with the cheaper no-photos policy.

    Why were photo sets, documentaries filming in our galleries, and such “safer” then J. Random Public shots? Because we knew the pros weren’t going to be focusing on security systems and the like. Also by the time they were published or broadcast the material would be somewhat dated and we’d have possibly changed layouts and/or security measures.

    Sure a thief or vandal might still surreptitiously take photos for analysis & planning but at least they’d not be out-in-the-open best-quality shots. Also if we did see the camera we’d now have noticed the person, possibly evicted them, but at least be paying closer attention to their activities in our galleries, possibly changing security measures (I used to have an Apple 1 board sitting out in the open 10’ from my office door.)

    I’ll also acknowledge that the floor staff loathed certain types of photographers.

    There are few things more annoying then giving a tour or answering a question and having a flash go off in your face. Or everyone inconvenienced while a family or group poses for “the perfect shot”, blocking an exhibit or hallway, making everyone uncomfortable. I even had some try to herd all other visitors away from an exhibit or out of a gallery they wanted to photograph.

    Back to Apple, they’ve had a number of well publicized store thefts. They knew that the iPhone introduction would draw crowds so they likely reminded everyone of photography policies. And there was probably some concern about criminal acts that accompanied other high profile introductions like gaming consoles.

    So Apple having a “no photos” rule, and reminding their staff to enforce it, doesn’t seem so unreasonable to me.

    I gotta also point out that find the ire expressed a bit ironic. Scoble has championed the idea of the blogger as journalist, deserving of the privileges of other journalists. He’s also certainly well aware of most companies policies regarding dealings with the press (as evidenced in the recent post regarding an interviewee being fired.) So apparently walking into a store and taking photos for his blog is different from other media interactions–how? Would setting up a guerrilla video interview be also acceptable? At what point does it become unreasonable, at what point does personal activities become professional, at what point isn’t it polite to let the store manager know whats going on?

    Finally, giving a clerk following policy “some lip back”? Tell me you weren’t as rude as that.

    — Maggard

    (BTW The assumption most folks at The Computer Museum made, including the museum floor staff before they inquired, was the no-photos policy was a way of squeezing a few more bucks from our visitors. In fact the money we made off photo sets in the museum gift shop was negligible and the shelf space would’ve been more profitable featuring gadget pens or such. We explicitly had the photo sets available as a courtesy in response to the no photos policy.)

  49. I have personally shot photos openly in the SF Apple store on multiple occasions and have never been hassled once.

  50. Michael: I was slightly rude. Here’s why I was: I have spent more than $20,000 with Apple in the past year, including two iPhones that have cameras and a third on the way.

    You didn’t sell cameras. Apple does.

    What’s funny is I can’t even use Apple’s own product inside the store if this is really Apple’s policy. There’s nothing ruder than a company that tells me I have to use their own product outside. When I am faced with corporate rudeness I get rude back.

    By the way, I’ve taken lots of photos inside the Computer History Museum, which is the new home of the equipment you protected in Boston (and two videos) and no one has ever said a thing to me.

    Oh, and iPhones don’t have flashes, so staff doesn’t need to be concerned.

    Oh, and over on Flickr there are 47,000 photos tagged with Apple Store: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Apple%20store&w=all

    I hadn’t heard the insurance angle, though. Thanks for giving your perspective.

  51. Michael: I was slightly rude. Here’s why I was: I have spent more than $20,000 with Apple in the past year, including two iPhones that have cameras and a third on the way.

    You didn’t sell cameras. Apple does.

    What’s funny is I can’t even use Apple’s own product inside the store if this is really Apple’s policy. There’s nothing ruder than a company that tells me I have to use their own product outside. When I am faced with corporate rudeness I get rude back.

    By the way, I’ve taken lots of photos inside the Computer History Museum, which is the new home of the equipment you protected in Boston (and two videos) and no one has ever said a thing to me.

    Oh, and iPhones don’t have flashes, so staff doesn’t need to be concerned.

    Oh, and over on Flickr there are 47,000 photos tagged with Apple Store: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Apple%20store&w=all

    I hadn’t heard the insurance angle, though. Thanks for giving your perspective.

  52. >He’s also certainly well aware of most companies policies regarding dealings with the press.

    That applies to interviews. I wasn’t trying to interview an Apple employee. I was taking a picture of Abdul and minding my own business.

  53. >He’s also certainly well aware of most companies policies regarding dealings with the press.

    That applies to interviews. I wasn’t trying to interview an Apple employee. I was taking a picture of Abdul and minding my own business.

  54. Derek: me too, I’ve shot pictures in dozens of Apple stores and never been hassled once. Well, I take that back. I was asked not to use a video camera in a store until I got Apple PR’s approval, but they never threatened to kick me out and offered to call PR for me to get approval.

  55. Derek: me too, I’ve shot pictures in dozens of Apple stores and never been hassled once. Well, I take that back. I was asked not to use a video camera in a store until I got Apple PR’s approval, but they never threatened to kick me out and offered to call PR for me to get approval.

  56. This is absolutely hilarious to me.

    When I lived in Arizona, I’d go to the Apple store at the mall in Chandler every now and then. It being Arizona, it’s legal to carry a firearm so long as it’s not concealed and so long as the owner of the premises doesn’t tell you not to.

    The Apple store had absolutely no problem in letting some fairly scruffy-looking guy (not nerf herder scruffy, but close!) browse around in their store with a cocked-and-locked .45 on his hip … but damned if they’ll let you take pictures there!

  57. This is absolutely hilarious to me.

    When I lived in Arizona, I’d go to the Apple store at the mall in Chandler every now and then. It being Arizona, it’s legal to carry a firearm so long as it’s not concealed and so long as the owner of the premises doesn’t tell you not to.

    The Apple store had absolutely no problem in letting some fairly scruffy-looking guy (not nerf herder scruffy, but close!) browse around in their store with a cocked-and-locked .45 on his hip … but damned if they’ll let you take pictures there!

  58. You have to consider that it is thier store and what if you take photos not each other but someone behibd you (not saying you are). If you a spy on someone etc etc. Think not only yourself all the time.

  59. You have to consider that it is thier store and what if you take photos not each other but someone behibd you (not saying you are). If you a spy on someone etc etc. Think not only yourself all the time.

  60. jack: if you are out in public you should expect to get photos taken of yourself. Particularly in an Apple store where there’s iPhones all around. Anyway, they can’t stop me from taking pictures in the street and that’s the only way into an Apple store. So, there isn’t an expectation of privacy there.

  61. jack: if you are out in public you should expect to get photos taken of yourself. Particularly in an Apple store where there’s iPhones all around. Anyway, they can’t stop me from taking pictures in the street and that’s the only way into an Apple store. So, there isn’t an expectation of privacy there.

  62. That’s really odd, I take pictures pretty much every time I hit an Apple Store, you only have to look at my Flickr feed. I’ve never been told off, unlike some other stores where I have been thrown out of for doing it.

    I(n fact thinking about it, in the Pasadena store I was actually encouraged by some of the staff to take pictures (they moved some stock about for me) after I mentioned I was blogging this…

  63. That’s really odd, I take pictures pretty much every time I hit an Apple Store, you only have to look at my Flickr feed. I’ve never been told off, unlike some other stores where I have been thrown out of for doing it.

    I(n fact thinking about it, in the Pasadena store I was actually encouraged by some of the staff to take pictures (they moved some stock about for me) after I mentioned I was blogging this…

  64. Rob, Maybe she knew who you were and just doesn’t like you or your friend with the preppy 80’s collar thing going on.
    Are we sure this pic isn’t from 1987?

    I’m with daved…*yawn*

  65. Rob, Maybe she knew who you were and just doesn’t like you or your friend with the preppy 80’s collar thing going on.
    Are we sure this pic isn’t from 1987?

    I’m with daved…*yawn*

  66. It seems like it is an international problem. They keep stopping me from taking shots inside most of the stores where I live right now (Kuwait), and really I can’t understand why! it doesn’t make any sense.
    But I didn’t try to take shots in apple store yet, so I should try :-)

  67. It seems like it is an international problem. They keep stopping me from taking shots inside most of the stores where I live right now (Kuwait), and really I can’t understand why! it doesn’t make any sense.
    But I didn’t try to take shots in apple store yet, so I should try :-)

  68. Perhaps the people who were in the store to shop were annoyed by the two attention seeking people who planted their buts in the middle of the store to take pictures of each other.

    Perhaps the people in the store just wanted to go about their business quietly, without there being a production. After all, not everyone waits in line all night so that they get their attention fix.

    And someone might even have complained to the store manager.

    Not everyone is as addicted to attention that they have to have to be in front of a camera on a continuous basis.

  69. Perhaps the people who were in the store to shop were annoyed by the two attention seeking people who planted their buts in the middle of the store to take pictures of each other.

    Perhaps the people in the store just wanted to go about their business quietly, without there being a production. After all, not everyone waits in line all night so that they get their attention fix.

    And someone might even have complained to the store manager.

    Not everyone is as addicted to attention that they have to have to be in front of a camera on a continuous basis.

  70. Shelley: nice try, but we took only one image before she came up. We didn’t have any complaints. We were standing together a total of 20 seconds.

  71. Shelley: nice try, but we took only one image before she came up. We didn’t have any complaints. We were standing together a total of 20 seconds.

  72. I had the same experience in an chicken store here. Its called pritong manok. the sales lady actually kept the whole chicken fried not untili keep my gadget way. and they say you can take pictures while eating your favorite fried? hell no,Now i know I can never have a remembrance of me eating my fave dish in my supposed fav fast food.hehe

  73. I had the same experience in an chicken store here. Its called pritong manok. the sales lady actually kept the whole chicken fried not untili keep my gadget way. and they say you can take pictures while eating your favorite fried? hell no,Now i know I can never have a remembrance of me eating my fave dish in my supposed fav fast food.hehe

  74. Its not uncommon. I have a friend in Japan who was told she couldn’t take photo’s in a doll shop because of policy.

  75. Its not uncommon. I have a friend in Japan who was told she couldn’t take photo’s in a doll shop because of policy.

  76. Scoble, you’re pathetic. I’m tempted to attribute your whining asshattery to Popular-Blogger-Becomes-God-In-His-Own-Mind syndrome (see Sullivan, Andrew), but Ockham’s Razor says it’s innate.

    Gawd, what a whiner.

  77. Scoble, you’re pathetic. I’m tempted to attribute your whining asshattery to Popular-Blogger-Becomes-God-In-His-Own-Mind syndrome (see Sullivan, Andrew), but Ockham’s Razor says it’s innate.

    Gawd, what a whiner.

  78. Nonsense. I’ve taken tons of pictures in Apple Stores in many locations, including NYC, SF and London. Never had any hassles from the staff.

  79. Nonsense. I’ve taken tons of pictures in Apple Stores in many locations, including NYC, SF and London. Never had any hassles from the staff.

  80. It makes perfect sense for Apple’s lawyers to enact this policy. Insurance, theft, and privacy. It’s a good policy to have, and I’ll bet most retailers have the same thing.

    It also makes perfect sense that everyone ignores it. Apple stores are cool – who wouldn’t want to take a photo? I’ve taken countless photos in at least half a dozen Apple stores, and some HD video too, never without a mention. Walk into the NYC 5th Ave store and just count the cameras. The place is a certified tourist attraction!

    I’ll bet the salesperson you ran into was one of the few who had read the policy and had the guts to enforce it.

  81. It makes perfect sense for Apple’s lawyers to enact this policy. Insurance, theft, and privacy. It’s a good policy to have, and I’ll bet most retailers have the same thing.

    It also makes perfect sense that everyone ignores it. Apple stores are cool – who wouldn’t want to take a photo? I’ve taken countless photos in at least half a dozen Apple stores, and some HD video too, never without a mention. Walk into the NYC 5th Ave store and just count the cameras. The place is a certified tourist attraction!

    I’ll bet the salesperson you ran into was one of the few who had read the policy and had the guts to enforce it.

  82. Mostly all retail store have a no photography rule. It is a competitive issue. Welcome to the real world.

    I have worked in retail for over 20 years and it has been a long term policy. Tru taking a picture in a Casino. You will get beaten.

    Grow up.

  83. Mostly all retail store have a no photography rule. It is a competitive issue. Welcome to the real world.

    I have worked in retail for over 20 years and it has been a long term policy. Tru taking a picture in a Casino. You will get beaten.

    Grow up.

  84. Photographers discuss this in the context of other retail stores:

    http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=000pg3

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the employee. It’s private property and the employee was doing what he’s paid to do. You should be talking to the Apple Store management, but since this is pretty much a standard policy in retail stores, it’s probably not worth the trouble to complain.

  85. Photographers discuss this in the context of other retail stores:

    http://photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=000pg3

    I don’t think it’s fair to blame the employee. It’s private property and the employee was doing what he’s paid to do. You should be talking to the Apple Store management, but since this is pretty much a standard policy in retail stores, it’s probably not worth the trouble to complain.

  86. @52 “Shelley: nice try, but we took only one image before she came up. We didn’t have any complaints. We were standing together a total of 20 seconds.”

    But I believe Shelley’s overall point still remains…

  87. @52 “Shelley: nice try, but we took only one image before she came up. We didn’t have any complaints. We were standing together a total of 20 seconds.”

    But I believe Shelley’s overall point still remains…

  88. Yeah, when I’m confronted with some anoying idiot I use any excuse I can to get rid of them, so I can understand this employee’s actions. If you put aside your petty indignation, it all makes perfect sense. The fact you were rude to her just confirms it.

  89. Yeah, when I’m confronted with some anoying idiot I use any excuse I can to get rid of them, so I can understand this employee’s actions. If you put aside your petty indignation, it all makes perfect sense. The fact you were rude to her just confirms it.

  90. Also I love how posters above are chiming in with their own tragic stories. One was kept waiting, she wrote about 5 pages about it in her blog. Another was furious becuase the sales rep didn’t know the part number of the processor in the MacBook. This is compelling stuff, stuff of a class action I say. Call the lawyers!

  91. Also I love how posters above are chiming in with their own tragic stories. One was kept waiting, she wrote about 5 pages about it in her blog. Another was furious becuase the sales rep didn’t know the part number of the processor in the MacBook. This is compelling stuff, stuff of a class action I say. Call the lawyers!

  92. Call up a few major retail chains and ask them if they allow photography in their store without prior written consent. The answer will be no, but you won’t believe me unless you do it yourself. (And there is another post that pretty much writes itself.)

    As for the woman who informed you of Apple policy at the store… why don’t you amaze her and say you’re sorry next time you see her in the store. She doesn’t set company policy and didn’t deserve your lip as I read it.

  93. Call up a few major retail chains and ask them if they allow photography in their store without prior written consent. The answer will be no, but you won’t believe me unless you do it yourself. (And there is another post that pretty much writes itself.)

    As for the woman who informed you of Apple policy at the store… why don’t you amaze her and say you’re sorry next time you see her in the store. She doesn’t set company policy and didn’t deserve your lip as I read it.

  94. That’s strange, the apple store I work at has never applied that rule.

    In fact we encourage people to take pictures, try out that digital camera in iPhoto, use the built in computer web cam.

    Its all a means of marketing at my store, thats just weird.

  95. That’s strange, the apple store I work at has never applied that rule.

    In fact we encourage people to take pictures, try out that digital camera in iPhoto, use the built in computer web cam.

    Its all a means of marketing at my store, thats just weird.

  96. Wow, some logic benders in this post.

    I’ve spent $20,000 on food… for some reason the grocery store gets pissed when I have dinner in the produce section. My dealer doesn’t understand why I keep doing doughnuts in his lot and park there all day… I don’t know why he’s pissed.

    This is stupid. You bought something. In a store. The store has rules. The rules don’t disappear because you bought something.

    No matter how much money you’ve spent, that doesn’t mean any consumer can do whatever they want in the store with their purchased products. This is normal. Sometimes it’s enforced. Sometimes it’s not. Big deal.

    “Anyway, they can’t stop me from taking pictures in the street and that’s the only way into an Apple store. So, there isn’t an expectation of privacy there.”

    Huh? It’s still a private store. The only way into your house, Scoble, is from outside so you should have no expectation of privacy there.

  97. Wow, some logic benders in this post.

    I’ve spent $20,000 on food… for some reason the grocery store gets pissed when I have dinner in the produce section. My dealer doesn’t understand why I keep doing doughnuts in his lot and park there all day… I don’t know why he’s pissed.

    This is stupid. You bought something. In a store. The store has rules. The rules don’t disappear because you bought something.

    No matter how much money you’ve spent, that doesn’t mean any consumer can do whatever they want in the store with their purchased products. This is normal. Sometimes it’s enforced. Sometimes it’s not. Big deal.

    “Anyway, they can’t stop me from taking pictures in the street and that’s the only way into an Apple store. So, there isn’t an expectation of privacy there.”

    Huh? It’s still a private store. The only way into your house, Scoble, is from outside so you should have no expectation of privacy there.

  98. Wow. I’m shocked, because I took a ton of photos both inside and out on my visit to Mecca (aka the NYC Glass Cube) a few months ago. No one said a word. I’d have gladly put my camera down if asked, though. I just don’t see the point of making a scene. Really…it’s just not worth it IMHO.

  99. Wow. I’m shocked, because I took a ton of photos both inside and out on my visit to Mecca (aka the NYC Glass Cube) a few months ago. No one said a word. I’d have gladly put my camera down if asked, though. I just don’t see the point of making a scene. Really…it’s just not worth it IMHO.

  100. I don’t understand the big deal, your on Apple’s property, deal with the rules or get out of the store. Did you ever think the people in the background didn’t want their likeness photographed and posted online?

  101. I don’t understand the big deal, your on Apple’s property, deal with the rules or get out of the store. Did you ever think the people in the background didn’t want their likeness photographed and posted online?

  102. Great, Robbie, get rude to the poor sap who is making 8.50 an hour trying to enforce “corporate policy” to keep his/her job. I am sure s/he has a direct line to retail management and your rudeness to that person will go straight up the line and effectuate change.

    Regardless of how you feel about the policy, why be such an ass? “Rude policies deserve rude responses” is that really what you think? Is this the best your generation has to offer: rudeness to the tyranny of a store policy? Man you live in a small, small world.

  103. Great, Robbie, get rude to the poor sap who is making 8.50 an hour trying to enforce “corporate policy” to keep his/her job. I am sure s/he has a direct line to retail management and your rudeness to that person will go straight up the line and effectuate change.

    Regardless of how you feel about the policy, why be such an ass? “Rude policies deserve rude responses” is that really what you think? Is this the best your generation has to offer: rudeness to the tyranny of a store policy? Man you live in a small, small world.

  104. Bob: I wasn’t THAT rude. I said “you’ve gotta be kidding.”

    Is that rude? Maybe. It was shocking cause I’ve taken pictures in dozens of Apple stores before without anyone saying anything. Even an Apple store employee here says there’s no such rule.

  105. Bob: I wasn’t THAT rude. I said “you’ve gotta be kidding.”

    Is that rude? Maybe. It was shocking cause I’ve taken pictures in dozens of Apple stores before without anyone saying anything. Even an Apple store employee here says there’s no such rule.

  106. I’ve taken pictures in Apple Stores. Some of them are of Genuises and clerks. Seems to me that it turns on what store you are in or how some individual behaves.

    Starbucks is another story. It did have an official policy of not allowing people to take photos in its cafes.

  107. I’ve taken pictures in Apple Stores. Some of them are of Genuises and clerks. Seems to me that it turns on what store you are in or how some individual behaves.

    Starbucks is another story. It did have an official policy of not allowing people to take photos in its cafes.

  108. I think it depends on what store your in. My friend took pictures with her iPhone in an apple store and the staff didn’t seem to care.

    @Podesta – I didn’t know that about Starbucks and I have taken pictures in there cafe and had no problems with staff.

  109. I think it depends on what store your in. My friend took pictures with her iPhone in an apple store and the staff didn’t seem to care.

    @Podesta – I didn’t know that about Starbucks and I have taken pictures in there cafe and had no problems with staff.

  110. As a former Apple Retail employee, I can confirm that Apple did indeed have a “no photographs” policy when the stores first opened. Then they did away with it in 2002 or ‘3. Either that employee has been around quite some time and missed the memo, or she didn’t like you. I’m not setting the odds, but …

  111. As a former Apple Retail employee, I can confirm that Apple did indeed have a “no photographs” policy when the stores first opened. Then they did away with it in 2002 or ‘3. Either that employee has been around quite some time and missed the memo, or she didn’t like you. I’m not setting the odds, but …

  112. Giving “some lip back” to an employee for doing her job and enforcing company policy is rude and absolutely deserving of being asked to leave.

  113. Giving “some lip back” to an employee for doing her job and enforcing company policy is rude and absolutely deserving of being asked to leave.

  114. It seems very reasonable to have a no pictures policy, it seems like every business serious about security doesn’t allow cameras anymore. It’s harder and harder to have a personal cell phone at work anymore because they all have cameras.

    Our first local Apple store was broken into the first month it was open. If having a policy against pictures helps prevent this, or if having such a policy reduces their insurance premiums, it seems quite reasonable.

    I’d rather pay for the hardware and software than pay for the theft and insurance premiums allowing people to take photos costs us.

    If you’re asked not to do something, don’t be a Scoble and give lip to the underpaid employees there to help you (do everything except waste store space taking photos for your own gratification and publication), do what the place is there to do… help you, and help other customers get access to the Apple products they want.

    If you want to take photos, buy the product, take it to your own building, and photograph it there.

  115. It seems very reasonable to have a no pictures policy, it seems like every business serious about security doesn’t allow cameras anymore. It’s harder and harder to have a personal cell phone at work anymore because they all have cameras.

    Our first local Apple store was broken into the first month it was open. If having a policy against pictures helps prevent this, or if having such a policy reduces their insurance premiums, it seems quite reasonable.

    I’d rather pay for the hardware and software than pay for the theft and insurance premiums allowing people to take photos costs us.

    If you’re asked not to do something, don’t be a Scoble and give lip to the underpaid employees there to help you (do everything except waste store space taking photos for your own gratification and publication), do what the place is there to do… help you, and help other customers get access to the Apple products they want.

    If you want to take photos, buy the product, take it to your own building, and photograph it there.

  116. Wow, you come off as a real jackass with this one. You used to blog about interesting things, back when you worked at Microsoft. What happened to you?

  117. Wow, you come off as a real jackass with this one. You used to blog about interesting things, back when you worked at Microsoft. What happened to you?

  118. Matthew: I got an iPhone. No SDK. Shoot me. If asking a store employee “you’ve gotta be kidding me?” is a jackass, well, then, I think you don’t get out very much.

    And you might be happier reading my link blog, or watching my videos. There I just talk about cool stuff, not about stupid experiences in Apple stores.

  119. Matthew: I got an iPhone. No SDK. Shoot me. If asking a store employee “you’ve gotta be kidding me?” is a jackass, well, then, I think you don’t get out very much.

    And you might be happier reading my link blog, or watching my videos. There I just talk about cool stuff, not about stupid experiences in Apple stores.

  120. Yeah sounds screwy!! But they cant bend over backwords just because we bought their products can they ;)

    Amusing!

  121. Yeah sounds screwy!! But they cant bend over backwords just because we bought their products can they ;)

    Amusing!

  122. I had a similar run-in at an Apple store and my first comment was about the posters on the wall that promote blogging and podcasting. Later the employee apologized and explained that I could take photos of the products and the store, just not the customers and employees.So there is some sort of policy in place, just be careful what you are taking pictures of.

  123. I had a similar run-in at an Apple store and my first comment was about the posters on the wall that promote blogging and podcasting. Later the employee apologized and explained that I could take photos of the products and the store, just not the customers and employees.So there is some sort of policy in place, just be careful what you are taking pictures of.

  124. Ed sez: “As a former Apple Retail employee, I can confirm that Apple did indeed have a “no photographs” policy when the stores first opened. Then they did away with it in 2002 or ‘3″

    As another former Appler, I can confirm this as my experience as well. Unless they re-reversed their decision, I believe the employee was incorrect in disallowing photography. It should be noted the vast majority of corporate retail environments, esp. malls, disallow photography. Usually they fear people ripping off their designs. Spend millions on a redesign and have a competitor send in a photographer posing as a customer to steal it (it happens). Can’t really blame the employees. I don’t support it, since someone in the store design biz could just see your design, and go outside your store and write down notes or sketch… but never the less, that’s the thinking.

  125. Ed sez: “As a former Apple Retail employee, I can confirm that Apple did indeed have a “no photographs” policy when the stores first opened. Then they did away with it in 2002 or ‘3″

    As another former Appler, I can confirm this as my experience as well. Unless they re-reversed their decision, I believe the employee was incorrect in disallowing photography. It should be noted the vast majority of corporate retail environments, esp. malls, disallow photography. Usually they fear people ripping off their designs. Spend millions on a redesign and have a competitor send in a photographer posing as a customer to steal it (it happens). Can’t really blame the employees. I don’t support it, since someone in the store design biz could just see your design, and go outside your store and write down notes or sketch… but never the less, that’s the thinking.

  126. One can take pictures. You likely had a picture of someone’s credit information. You’re lucky you didn’t get locked up by mall police.

    Stop being a negative jackass.

  127. One can take pictures. You likely had a picture of someone’s credit information. You’re lucky you didn’t get locked up by mall police.

    Stop being a negative jackass.

  128. You also “can’t take” photographs in Macy’s, Sears, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Target, JC Penney’s Belk, Kroger, Publix, eatZi’s, Whole Foods, Pikes, Best Buy, Circuit City, WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, Frys. Electronics Boutique, Comp USA, the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and in most shopping malls.
    I don’t know why but it’s been like that as long as I’ve been alive.
    Most of the time, you won’t hear anything about it form anybody, but that employee was just doing their job. You didn’t get specific about what you said but it sounds like you were being a dick. Considering how thin-skinned and defensive you are when anybody says anything even slightly critical of you or your friends, you’d think you’d be slower to dish it out.

  129. You also “can’t take” photographs in Macy’s, Sears, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Target, JC Penney’s Belk, Kroger, Publix, eatZi’s, Whole Foods, Pikes, Best Buy, Circuit City, WalMart, Walgreens, CVS, Office Max, Office Depot, Staples, Frys. Electronics Boutique, Comp USA, the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and in most shopping malls.
    I don’t know why but it’s been like that as long as I’ve been alive.
    Most of the time, you won’t hear anything about it form anybody, but that employee was just doing their job. You didn’t get specific about what you said but it sounds like you were being a dick. Considering how thin-skinned and defensive you are when anybody says anything even slightly critical of you or your friends, you’d think you’d be slower to dish it out.

  130. Update on Starbucks’ photography policy: I just asked the managing barista at the Starbucks I’m posting from. She says the no photographs policy is still in effect.

  131. Update on Starbucks’ photography policy: I just asked the managing barista at the Starbucks I’m posting from. She says the no photographs policy is still in effect.

  132. Interesting as I never had problems using my camera phone in any of the stores are starbucks. I guess I have been lucky.

  133. Interesting as I never had problems using my camera phone in any of the stores are starbucks. I guess I have been lucky.

  134. WhoKnows: I didn’t say a thing to her before she came up and said “no photography.” She didn’t ask any questions. I didn’t say a single word to her. So, no way for her to know that.

  135. WhoKnows: I didn’t say a thing to her before she came up and said “no photography.” She didn’t ask any questions. I didn’t say a single word to her. So, no way for her to know that.

  136. “I was slightly rude. Here’s why I was: I have spent more than $20,000 with Apple in the past year, including two iPhones that have cameras and a third on the way.”

    Did you get what you paid for? If so, you’re even. Spending money doesn’t entitle you to getting to break policy.

    And as yet another former Apple retail employee, managers at the stores I worked at were always talking about the no photography rule. If it was no longer in effect, management was not aware, and most employees rely on management to get this kind of info. The official Apple document with such policies is very, very long and Mac Specialists don’t get paid enough to read it, especially if they are part-time.

    If you’re concerned, shoot an email to store management and ask if such a policy still exists, as you were under the impression it was reversed. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to look into it.

    Lastly, if you had a Genius Bar appointment regarding your troubles taking pictures with your iPhone or iSight, I assure you that the Geniuses would allow you to take pictures to show your problem. Comments regarding the policy as problematic in this way are asinine. Also, in my experience, you can take pictures with DEMO cameras and phones in the store to try out the functionality, as you won’t be keeping those pictures anyway, and store staff can easily delete them.

  137. “I was slightly rude. Here’s why I was: I have spent more than $20,000 with Apple in the past year, including two iPhones that have cameras and a third on the way.”

    Did you get what you paid for? If so, you’re even. Spending money doesn’t entitle you to getting to break policy.

    And as yet another former Apple retail employee, managers at the stores I worked at were always talking about the no photography rule. If it was no longer in effect, management was not aware, and most employees rely on management to get this kind of info. The official Apple document with such policies is very, very long and Mac Specialists don’t get paid enough to read it, especially if they are part-time.

    If you’re concerned, shoot an email to store management and ask if such a policy still exists, as you were under the impression it was reversed. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to look into it.

    Lastly, if you had a Genius Bar appointment regarding your troubles taking pictures with your iPhone or iSight, I assure you that the Geniuses would allow you to take pictures to show your problem. Comments regarding the policy as problematic in this way are asinine. Also, in my experience, you can take pictures with DEMO cameras and phones in the store to try out the functionality, as you won’t be keeping those pictures anyway, and store staff can easily delete them.

  138. Many many other retail establishments prohibit photography on their premises. Do you people ever get out???

  139. Many many other retail establishments prohibit photography on their premises. Do you people ever get out???

  140. The policy is probably in effect so people won’t find themselves plastered next to some Anti-Apple article with the caption “Blind dumb lemmings worship idols at Apple Store”.

  141. The policy is probably in effect so people won’t find themselves plastered next to some Anti-Apple article with the caption “Blind dumb lemmings worship idols at Apple Store”.

  142. Many retail and restaurant chains and other businesses have no-photography policies. Whole Foods and Starbucks always come up in these discussions, and Seth Godin wrote about his experiences at a Stop and Shop here: http://tinyurl.com/28xgq6

    What I think is clear from this discussion is that these policies are not widely known, are not consistently followed, and are a source of confusion, resentment and general unpleasantness when staff try to enforce them.

    I think that private establishments have the right to forbid or limit photography, especially if there are legitimate security or insurance issues. But if they are going to have these policies, I think they need to be clear, posted and followed consistently. Maybe in the old days (five years ago?) no one thought to post these because most people weren’t wandering around with cameras, and the problem didn’t come up much. But these days, if you have to have such a policy, I think you need to post it to avoid such unpleasant encounters.

    I was at the Boston Public Library this spring to do a training session about Flickr for local librarians. I was a little early, and when I walked in with my camera, I was wondering if I could take pictures of all the great artwork in the old building. But I was impressed to see the library’s photography policy clearly posted, which told me all I needed to know:
    http://www.bpl.org/general/policies/photography.htm

  143. Many retail and restaurant chains and other businesses have no-photography policies. Whole Foods and Starbucks always come up in these discussions, and Seth Godin wrote about his experiences at a Stop and Shop here: http://tinyurl.com/28xgq6

    What I think is clear from this discussion is that these policies are not widely known, are not consistently followed, and are a source of confusion, resentment and general unpleasantness when staff try to enforce them.

    I think that private establishments have the right to forbid or limit photography, especially if there are legitimate security or insurance issues. But if they are going to have these policies, I think they need to be clear, posted and followed consistently. Maybe in the old days (five years ago?) no one thought to post these because most people weren’t wandering around with cameras, and the problem didn’t come up much. But these days, if you have to have such a policy, I think you need to post it to avoid such unpleasant encounters.

    I was at the Boston Public Library this spring to do a training session about Flickr for local librarians. I was a little early, and when I walked in with my camera, I was wondering if I could take pictures of all the great artwork in the old building. But I was impressed to see the library’s photography policy clearly posted, which told me all I needed to know:
    http://www.bpl.org/general/policies/photography.htm

  144. Robert, perhaps the Apple employee was referring to their policy that YOU (Robert Scoble) aren’t allowed to take photos inside an Apple store.

    Perhaps they know that photos that you take are going to end up on the scobleizer blog. LOL

  145. Robert, perhaps the Apple employee was referring to their policy that YOU (Robert Scoble) aren’t allowed to take photos inside an Apple store.

    Perhaps they know that photos that you take are going to end up on the scobleizer blog. LOL

  146. well I didn’t have that trouble inside the Apple store where I live, I took a shit load pictures of a couple fucking in the store and they were still going strong when the police showed up and then I snapped a photo of the couple fucking with police man standing next to them and one of the officers told me that he wanted my photos from my camera, I told him no way and that he would have to get his own camera and take his own pictures. The couple almost got arrested but the police officers took the female too the storage area of the store for questioning and them and they came back 20 minutes later and the two officers were smiling and told the store manager that they didn’t have any HARD evidence and the couple was fee to go. I just love Apple store you never know what your going to see in there

  147. well I didn’t have that trouble inside the Apple store where I live, I took a shit load pictures of a couple fucking in the store and they were still going strong when the police showed up and then I snapped a photo of the couple fucking with police man standing next to them and one of the officers told me that he wanted my photos from my camera, I told him no way and that he would have to get his own camera and take his own pictures. The couple almost got arrested but the police officers took the female too the storage area of the store for questioning and them and they came back 20 minutes later and the two officers were smiling and told the store manager that they didn’t have any HARD evidence and the couple was fee to go. I just love Apple store you never know what your going to see in there

  148. Dennis

    “…Some internet answering services are currently free, but it is doubtful if this will continue forever as this service becomes more established…”

  149. Of course stores have a right to set policy, but they should weigh that against the fact that they are pissing off customers with said policy. I just got yelled at by a manager of a 7-11 next to where I work (I am no stranger there; the guy has seen me buy food there for YEARS) because I took a photo of a Homer Simpson sign in front of the store. “Corporate policy” he told me. “No photos.”

    Why it’s corporate policy to annoy loyal customers, I’ll never know.

  150. Of course stores have a right to set policy, but they should weigh that against the fact that they are pissing off customers with said policy. I just got yelled at by a manager of a 7-11 next to where I work (I am no stranger there; the guy has seen me buy food there for YEARS) because I took a photo of a Homer Simpson sign in front of the store. “Corporate policy” he told me. “No photos.”

    Why it’s corporate policy to annoy loyal customers, I’ll never know.

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