Ad Feature by iQ IOM

I can probably pinpoint 2007 as the greatest turning point of my life. Not only did Barbara Windsor stop me in the street and ask me if I knew where the nearest public bathrooms were (true story), but I also embarked on a journey of moral superiority by buying my first ever Apple product, a white MacBook: like the 800 million other Apple product users, I became a rugged individualist who didn’t follow crowds, and I was hooked.

2007 Apple MacBooks were quite hefty. Just throwing it into my artisanal leather messenger bag nearly toppled me out of my vintage pumps, and my then-skinny arms grew muscles bigger than my ego as I unsheathed it from its case and heaved it smugly onto the coffee shop tables from which I worked, sipping my Nitro cold-brew coffee and sneering at my inferiors and their prehistoric Dell monstrosities.  

I was an asshole. I was woke. I WAS Mac. 

Apple’s meteoric growth over the past decade is due, in large part, to the cultural phenomenon it has cultivated. From its tight monitoring of its global supply chain to its tenacious drive to produce cutting-edge products and content, Apple has occupied an increasingly prominent role in the worldwide economy.

While most tech products are poorly-thought-out junk (sorry not sorry, Blackberry), Apple seems to nail the small stuff, which has instilled a feeling of trust and loyalty among users, earning it cult status. 

As the largest Apple Premium Reseller and official Apple Authorised Service Provider in the British Isles, I was excited to learn about iQ opening a slice of Apple heaven in its 4,000 square foot corner of Prospect Hill. With an established presence in Guernsey and Jersey, iQ launched its Isle of Man store this month, selling the latest Apple products including the full range of Apple Mac computers, the iPhone family, and a wide range of complementary third-party products and accessories.

Unlike other retailers who simply sell Apple products alongside other brands, iQ has to adhere to the branding and guidelines of Apple, including the minimalist and crafted retail architecture that Apple has become synonymous with, which has been designed to recall the reliable and rigorously designed nature of the products themselves. 

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Showcasing the entire Apple product line, it’s more than just iQ selling Apple products: it’s expert advice, hands-on demonstrations, excellent product knowledge, software advice, after-sales support, training, and events.

iQ staff are extensively trained and can provide expert advice on everything Apple. Just visiting iQ you get a real sense of everyone’s passion and belief in the brand they’re championing, and similar to Apple, the seemingly biggest determining factor for being hired by iQ is how much of an Apple evangelist you are and how well you fit the team.

Employees aren’t on commission, so there’s no pressure for them to sell you everything and the kitchen sink: they’re there to build a relationship. They will shake your hand, call you by your name, and take real pride in being able to help you with the right solution every time: they live, breathe, and sleep the Apple brand. 

Not only that, but it’s not just about selling you products. Like Apple, iQ really wants you to return to its store and learn more about how to use their products, even if you’re not buying anything else. It’s all about the experience – with the products, with the people, and with the store.

In fact, when I visit the store on Prospect Hill, it has the vibe of a community centre more than a retail space, albeit with better lighting and sleeker furniture: there’s a training facility, where customers can benefit from future customised training sessions in music, photography, video, and publishing software; a business suite; and areas such as their flex tables, where people can just hang and geek out over the tech they’ve just bought. 

When you first hear about or look at an Apple product, many people’s first reaction is to talk about the price tag. But when you actually use one for an extended period of time, you realise that part of what you’re paying for is quality, because more so than just the components themselves, Apple puts a lot of time and thought into the products they’re making.

If Apple made crap, it might sell quickly at first as a result of their tasteful marketing, but that would quickly falter. The idea that devout users of Apple products have been, in some way, brainwashed is laughable. And it’s always put out there by people who, for whatever reason, be it price or prejudice, haven’t extensively used Apple products.

Or maybe I’m just biased due to a relationship that began in 2007 and is still enjoying its salad days. Either way, I’m glad iQ has opened on Prospect Hill. Just like seeing a friendly face during a particularly tumultuous time, it reminds me that I’m an Apple boy through and through every time I pass by. And that I’m probably still a morally superior asshole.

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