Why does no one ever care if the Dell store goes down? - Macenstein

Why does no one ever care if the Dell store goes down?

Posted by Dr. Macenstein

Early this morning the Mac geek world, and the geek world in general, was abuzz with speculation when it was noted that the online Apple Store was down.

Engadget Got the hype ball rolling, but other sites like Digg, Reddit, and others were quick to pick up the ball and run with it, despite it being 2 AM on a Thursday – not a time Apple traditionally puts out product updates (the downtime ended up being nothing other than maintenance, apparently).

This is not the first time this has happened (we ourselves have been known to speculate when the store goes down) however it DOES seem a bit odd that within mere seconds of the Apple store putting up its infamous “We’ll be back soon” Post-It note, the media frenzy begins. When was the last time you saw anyone get excited about the Dell store going down?

Now, of course, I have no way of knowing if the Dell store ever goes down. I can only assume it must, as odds are it is running on Dell servers. Still, if the Apple store sneezes, 20 blogs immediately say “Gesundheit!” and begin trying to diagnose what the cause of the illness might be.

As an Apple fan, stockholder, and Mac-site “journalist”, I actually am slightly troubled by just how often the Apple store goes down (insert “More times than your sister on prom night” joke here). As I said, I never visit the Dell online store, so I do not know if it ever needs to be taken entirely down the way the Apple store seems to, but back in May Apple took the entire store down for over 3 hours just to basically put a larger hard drive in the MacBooks. What type of e-Commerce software is Apple using that requires the entire store be taken down every time Apple wants to add a new product, or even just slightly update the hardware specs in an existing one? If a Dell laptop goes from a 2GHz chip to a 2.3 GHz chip and gets a 20GB hard drive increase, does the store go down for 3 hours? I’m guessing not.

My first (and only) real theory is that Apple takes the store down to save money. Sure, they lose 3 hours of online sales, but they have gotten a couple hundred thousand dollars of free publicity in return.

I’m sure this annoying practice will go on as long as tech blogs (ourselves included) continue to wet our pants, and the pants of our readers, whenever we see the Apple Store Post-It, so I am announcing that starting today, Macenstein will be taking a hard stand against Apple’s tickle-your-ass-with-a-feather marketing campaign. No longer will you see us throw up the “Apple Store Down: Updates coming?!?”-type headlines. It’s a case of the bratty kid that acts out to get attention – maybe if we just ignore him, he’ll eventually grow up and figure out a better way to make friends.

10 Responses to “Why does no one ever care if the Dell store goes down?”
  1. Duerre says:

    Well spoken. Of course it is a proofed marketing gag. A nice tradition like Santa Claus bringing Christmas gifts. Stop mention Christmas. Same procedure every year:)

  2. Vas the Man says:

    Dell servers are a lot better than you probably expect. I know their consumer crap isn’t worth the box it’s shipped in, but their servers are quite good, considering the price. You can run real OSes on them, too (like Linux, BSD, Solaris and VMware ESX).

  3. Engine Joe says:

    Good call. I have tried to stop going to sites that do those “Apple Store Down: Updates coming?!?” articles (unfortunately, too many sites run them for me to go 100% with that pledge); I certainly don’t bother to click the link to the non-article that follows.

    Anyway, it seems like in the last year or so — basically since the Intel switch, Apple has tended to actually announce new products rather than just push them out on the website. There are a few exceptions, but the air of mystery around what products Apple may release has thinned of late, so when I see the Apple store is down, I don’t assume anything is coming unless there’s also an event scheduled for that day.

  4. Rowlings says:

    Please do not wet my pants.

  5. I found this odd… Google “Apple Store Down”. You get a ton of hits on articles from the major tech publications. Yet when you Google “Dell Store Down” you will get articles about the Apple Store being down.

    -The Doc

  6. Hindsight says:

    Aww man.. I love it when the Apple store goes down. Has it become a gimmick? Oh sure.. whether by design or not the excitement that ensues during these events has become an integral part of the culture. Pathetic? Oh hell yes. I’ve still got my pride I didn’t get an iPhone.

  7. Amed says:

    It is because Dell And Google never go down

  8. joecab says:

    Geez, the store goes down, what, 4 times a year for like 4 hours at a a stretch? That’s less than 0.2% a year. Gimme a break. As long as they keep releasing exciting and well-thought out products they could have it down half the time for all I care. I like the anticipation.

  9. Anm says:


    Please refrain from wetting other peoples pants. Especially mine. That is just too disturbing of a picture.

  10. Tepes Eclipse says:

    My personal opinion is that it began as a Jobsian level of total control. The web site goes down during a product introduction so that the inventory doesn’t suddenly go from Putty G3 to Quicksilver G4 and in one fell swoop letting everyone know what the new Mac is before Jobs introduces it.

    As an extension of that, it would also be a Jobsian OCD to have the Store webmasters and data entry employees double, triple, no probably quadruple check that they did in fact take the 1.83 Ghz Mac Mini and make it a 2.0 Ghz Mini. Oh wait, the store was live the entire time, and I fat fingered, and 7 people ordered the 32 Ghz Mac Mini? Man are they going to be annoyed.

    Is it used for publicity today? Sure? Is it still used as above? Oh yes. It isn’t that the servers running the store require three hours maintenance. It’s all about the control over the flow of information.

    Just my two cents, though,


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