Is Apple Really Privatizing Public Space?

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Paris Marx writes that Apple is privatizing public space by changing its Apple retail stores. Angela Ahrendts wants Apple retail stores to be town squares, a.k.a. community gathering places. Mr. Marx has an issue with this for some reason.

The issue is with Apple’s plans for the exterior of its stores. The company wants more green space, and more places for people to hang out even if they aren’t shopping. Essentially, Apple intends to create privatized public spaces centered around its pseudo-religious glowing white apple. It hopes these public-private spaces will entice people to indulge their consumerist temptations — to take a bite out of the apple, as it were.

Ah yes, because comparing Apple to a religion hasn’t been done before. He also says that Apple retail stores use private security to “remove those who did not serve these spaces’ newly commercialized purpose (read: poor and homeless people).” I highly doubt Apple is kicking out poor people. As for homeless people? That’s what a homeless shelter is for, which any retail store, let alone that of Apple, is not. But sure, let’s blame “the libruls.”

Credit for the featured image I used goes to Michael Steeber of 9to5Mac.

Check It Out: Is Apple Really Privatizing Public Space?

Is Apple Really Privatizing Public Space?

7 Comments Add a comment

  1. scottreynolds

    I was with you right up until the last sentence. It sounds to me like the author is complaining about Apple having conservative capitalist values while pretending to be socially responsible. Am I crazy?

    • Andrew Orr

      No I think you’re right. That line was aimed at his headline where he says privatizing public space is somehow a neoliberal thing.

  2. aardman

    Usage here of “privatizing public space” is deceptive. It makes it sound like Apple is seizing public space and converting it into its private property. Writer of the original, referenced article is being dishonest.

  3. John Kheit

    First, it’s in medium, so that means it’s from the brain dead. Second, let me paraphrase…. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I wants apple to buy us stuff and give us free stuff and to do what the government seemingly is incapable of doing for us all for free. WAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

    It’s beyond idiotic. They buy a spot. They make it what they like within zoning limits. If you don’t like it, don’t go. If you don’t like what your govt is doing, whining with apple in your headline just shows what a shallow hitwhore you are. F U to Paris “I want you to pay for my pony” Marx (living up to his name).

  4. geoduck

    This isn’t Apple’s doing. Malls have been creating private public spaces for decades, ever since SouthDale opened in 1956 in the Twin Cities

  5. JustCause

    Privately owned public spaces? Isn’t this done in the US all the time, where private foundations create parks, etc that are open to the public. If Apple owns the land there shouldn’t be an issue, if it’s a mall well that’s up to the landlord and is part of the negotiation.

  6. Lee Dronick

    The exterior of the stores is generally mall property and it is mall security that moves people from the spot. They also move them on from in front of other stores and the mall in general. That being said I haven’t seen security 86 folks for simply hanging out in front of Apple and other stores. unless they are causing a disturbance by aggressively panhandling, open container, and such.

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