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Apple wants you to spend longer in its stores. Why would you do that?

Technically Incorrect: Part of a new redesign of its retail outlets includes the notion of the Apple Store as your new town square. Is that an attractive thought?

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


Your new town square.


If you were going to build a new town square, would you put it next to the old town square?

That's what Apple claims to have done in its new flagship San Francisco store.

Opening on Saturday morning to the public, it's intended to be something new.

It's no longer a store, it's the town square. At least according to Apple's retail head, Angela Ahrendts.

In San Francisco, the town square -- Union Square -- is right next to this Apple store.

Why would Apple prefer that you meet people inside the Apple store, rather than in Union Square?

In the latter, there are cakes, ice creams and sometimes pulsatingly painful art. In the Apple store, there are simply gadgets, tables, stools and many, many people. Oh, and now a few trees.

For some time now, Apple stores have been known for their cacophonies of sound and their sheer sweaty stickiness.

They were places where -- at least for me -- you went inside to get your business done as quickly as possible and then leave before you needed a shower.

Apple happens to be an extremely popular brand, with very high levels of in-store customer service. So everyone with a gadget problem or just nowhere else to go would enter to buy an iPhone, fix a MacBook or just quickly check email.

Ahrendts and her design team have created more space inside the stores. I experienced the first US prototype in Corte Madera, California, a few weeks ago. There was definitely more air to breathe. It was easier to talk to a Genius sitting side-by-side, rather than across a table.

But was it enough to make Apple stores actual meetings places?

And why would Apple want that anyway? Because the stores aren't making the profits they used to? Apple stopped presenting retail sales figures last year. That's rarely a sign of growth.

Perhaps the company wants to create an additional layer of emotional commitment to the brand.

Perhaps, instead of fanpersons thinking of Apple stores as places they worship -- loyally lining up outside for the launch of the latest iPhone -- Apple wants fans to feel more a part of the actual store.

Church is passé. Apple is the secular religion of tomorrow.

Ahrendts told The New York Times that the new Apple stores are intended to host the coming generations who have grown up on sharing and communing (and selfies).

"The next generation just wants to flow," she told the Times.

It does? Why do some people think the next generation merely wants to be loved and adored just for being the next generation?

Perhaps we will all soon experience the next generation wafting in and out of Apple stores. They will meet to discuss the president of the day, the ramifications of moving to Canada and the emotional dilemmas of Miley Cyrus.

But once the place is full of people -- any sort of people -- won't it be the town square that you always avoid?