Apple’s share price has taken a hammering, and the company’s co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested it might be losing its “cool” status.

Apple’s share price has taken a hammering, and the company’s co-founder Steve Wozniak suggested it might be losing its “cool” status.

But has anyone told the general public? The reason I ask is that I see no sign of consumers’ desire for all things Apple waning; far from it.

I made the mistake of entering the Apple store at Westfield Stratford on a Saturday in December, and barely escaped with my life. People were buying too, with assistants imploring customers to download an app that allows them to complete store purchases on their own phone to minimise queues.

The shipment statistics back this up: 27.4 million iPhone5 and 17.4 million iPhone4S handsets were sold worldwide in the final quarter of 2012. This compares with 15.4 million Samsung Galaxy SIIIs (a far from shoddy result).

And the latest touchscreen Z10 smartphone that BlackBerry is pinning its hopes on? Well let’s just say it could be mistaken for an iPhone on a dark night.

So much for the middle-aged guy with the beard knowing what’s hot then.

What retailers should take away from this - whether their customers are iOS, Android or Windows smartphone users - is that they are increasingly likely to be smartphone users.

In the next year they are going to start to be 4G smartphone users. And if various stakeholders ever get their act together it won’t just be the Apple store where customers expect to checkout on their mobile.

Which brings me back to my day job. Retailers - have you hired a head of mobile yet? If not, you need to get one.

Yes, it might seem like an extravagance when you are cutting store hours. Yes, I do know how much you are already paying your ecommerce/multichannel director. And, yes, you will have to hire someone who will be learning on the job - the pace of change in consumer behaviour makes this inevitable.

But you should hire one anyway, because your customers do still think using a smartphone is cool. And it’s their opinion that really counts.

  • Joanna Perry, Executive headhunter, Oresa Executive Search