March 12, 2009, 3:05 AM — Yesterday morning, visitors to the Apple store were once again met with the "We are busy updating the store for you and will be back shortly." message. Tech bloggers (including this one) and Apple enthusiasts immediately switched to speculation mode, wondering what new product was coming.
It turned out to be the new iPod Shuffle.
No offense to the product team behind the Shuffle line, but this was hardly a major new announcement. Not that Apple ever claimed a major new announcement was coming; they've just trained us to salivate like one of Pavlov's dogs whenever the store goes down.
Doesn't it seem strange that a company with Apple's resources can't manage to build an online store that allows them to add or remove products without taking the whole thing down for a few hours?
The truth, of course, is that they could manage that; they just choose not to. And why would they when doing their updates this way gets them so much free publicity? All they have to do to build buzz in the blogosphere is close up shop for a little while, then watch the posts spring up everywhere when they open back up. And certainly posts announcing the new Shuffle did spring up.
But didn't it feel a little like Apple was crying wolf this time around? Maybe they should limit this "bring the store down" routine to truly big announcements.