Recession, VAT increase to 20 percent, yet London's Apple Stores are busier than ever. Not just at weekends but also during the working week, the central stores at Covent Garden and Regent Street are bursting with customers.
As someone who can't pass an Apple store without a quick ferret among the accessories, I now find there are too many customers for comfort. It is beginning to be difficult to find staff for help or, even, to handle a purchase. The places are just buzzing.
Another phenomenon is the long line of would-be iPhone purchasers. Yesterday in the Westfield store at Shepherd's Bush I noticed three people at the head of the line brandishing US passports as identification. Unlocked iPhones are simply falling off the shelves, make no mistake.
While all this is anecdotal evidence and not to be taken too seriously, there's no doubt something is afoot. Apple is definitely in a roll.