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The New York Times has a story about how Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, is redirecting at least some of the Apple Store focus toward what are called "ultraluxe" products ... in one case, a $1,990 wireless speaker called the Phantom that soon will be in 14 US stores, with a broader rollout scheduled for next year.

The device, the Times writes, "will get the sort of prominent display treatment that is typically reserved in Apple stores for the company’s Beats audio accessories."

Here's how the Times frames the move:

"Apple’s stores typically spotlight the company’s devices, with the most expensive audio accessories topping out in the hundreds of dollars. The Phantom is the first high-end non-Apple gadget that Ms. Ahrendts, the former chief executive of the fashion house Burberry, has brought in since she took the job. It buttresses some of her other recent moves to create more of a luxury Apple retail experience, including initiating private try-on appointments for the most expensive Apple watches, reducing the numbers and types of accessories that are sold, and pushing manufacturers to make special packaging for gadgets carried in Apple’s stores."

One analyst describes Ahrendts as “shaving off some rough edges and completing our sense that the Apple Store is a premium experience."
KC's View:
It would be hard to find a more dedicated and loyal Apple user than me, but I do think this is an ares where Apple has to treat carefully. Nothing wrong with selling this kind of merchandise, but the Apple Stores always have done a good job of making technology - and style - accessible to a broad population. If they get too high end, they'll lose that facet of their appeal. And I just think they have to be careful.