'You can only glean so much information by drilling down on credit card purchases,' said an Apple spokesperson. 'And anyway, we kind of knew that Apple consumers were predominantly middle earning aspirational Caucasians,' he added with a shrug. 'After all, that's the only demographic that can afford our products right now. Anyone earning less than middle should be looking at the Google Nexus 7,' he said, without an ounce of irony.
But the computing giant has one trick up its sleeve that isn't available to its competitors.
'Apple customers just love to queue,' he said, pointing out that there were queues around the block when they released IOS 6. 'And that was just a download,' he grinned. He went on to explain that Apple use the queues to discover things about their customers that would be impossible by any other means.
'We've even put out a new version of iPhone before now just for the research opportunity,' he said, wiping a tear from his eye as he fondly recalled the pointless release of an iPhone model. 'No, I can't tell you which version, they all seem pretty pointless,' he said, neatly avoiding our question.
It beggared the obvious query, though. What information does Apple learn about its customers as they queue for hours in all weathers.
'Well, it says something about their fortitude, resilience, disposable income and evidently even more disposible time,' he suggested, waving his arm sweepingly across the queue of potential Apple iPad Mini purchasers. 'And it tells you something about their shopping habits,' he said, pointing out the preponderance of brightly coloured pullovers. 'Gap, every last one,' he said. 'Apple noticed that virtually all of their customers shopped at Gap, even to the the point that Apple and Gap are considering a tactical merger, with the new company name GApple', he added, showing a prototype logo to us.
We were, of course, sworn to absolute secrecy about that one. But we were interested to know if Apple had any hard knowledge about their competitors' research into their customer base shopping habits. The spokesman was very forthcoming.
'Well, we know that Microsoft have worked out what fans of their products wear. Corporate Wear, apparently,' he sniggered, ensuring we understood he wasn't talking about any old Corporate Wear, but Microsoft Corporate Wear. Or jeans and tee shirts to everyone else. We pointed out that Microsoft wasn't Apple's only competitor in this new age of tablet computing. For example, what about Apple's biggest competitor, the upstart from Seattle.
'OMG, you mean Amazon?' asked our incredulous insider. 'That's unknowable, they don't release any data about their customers to anyone,' he said. We decided that although in essence he was correct, we'd apply our journalistic skills to reveal the answer by the end of the article. Or we'd just make something up. We decided to give the Apple spokesperson one last chance at selling his industry short. What about Google? The spokesperson knew what to do this time. He whipped his iPad Mini out and Googled the question into it. Of course, Google knew the answer and within 0.3 seconds had returned 3,458,214 answers, all different.
As we'd nearly reached the front of the queue we bid our spokesman farewell and, straightening our Gap pullovers, we braced to enter the glass fronted hallowed halls.
And the answer to the question, what do Amazon shoppers wear when shopping? Pyjamas, we think.
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