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Apple Store opens in Mishawaka mall

Kristen Durbin | Monday, November 15, 2010

For the many students who own MacBooks, iPhones and other Apple products, the brand-new Apple Store at University Park Mall will be a welcome addition to the South Bend area and Notre Dame community.

The store, which opened at 10 a.m. Saturday, is only the second Apple Store to open in Indiana, joining the technology giant’s Indianapolis retail location.

The new location will provide students with a geographically closer option for purchasing and repairing Apple products than the Chicago location, which was previously the closest Apple Store to Notre Dame.

Several students said they believed the arrival of an Apple Store in the South Bend area was inevitable, if late in coming.

“I personally think it was long overdue,” sophomore Kristin Ruekert said. “I can’t believe the closest one before was in Chicago.”

Sophomore Meredith Angell expressed similar views on the store’s recent opening and the services it will be able to offer to Notre Dame students.

“I’m surprised there wasn’t already an Apple Store around here because so many students have Apple computers,” Angell, a Mac owner, said. “I’m excited because I’ll be able to go there to get my computer fixed or ask questions about any problems I have.”

Although the Office of Information Technologies provides vendor authorized warranty repairs on Apple, Dell and IBM/Lenovo computers, according to its website, some students were unaware Apple computers were included in OIT’s repair expertise.

“I didn’t even know I could take my Mac to OIT to get it fixed if needed,” Angell said. “Now that there’s an Apple Store nearby, I would definitely take it there if anything happens.”

Sophomore Maddie Smierciak said having an Apple Store close to campus was a factor in deciding which computer to buy prior to her freshman year.

“When I bought a computer, I looked into whether or not South Bend had an Apple Store, and I was initially apprehensive about buying a Mac because there wasn’t one,” Smierciak said. “It makes me happy that the store opened because it gives me confidence that there is someone certified to handle Apple products nearby if anything happened.”

The convenience of the new location in case of technological emergencies was also important to sophomore Mac owner Colleen Bailey.

“I think the Apple Store will be a handy resource in case my computer breaks in the future,” Bailey said.

Although the store is located a few miles from campus, Ruekert said the off-campus location of the Apple Store may hinder some students from bringing their computers there for repairs.

“Students that don’t have cars probably won’t bring their computers on the bus with them to the mall,” Ruekert said. “I’m guessing a lot of students will still take their Apple computers to OIT if they have problems.”

Sophomore Mac owner Tylor Gauger said he thought OIT’s Apple repair customer numbers would not change much as a result of the new store opening nearby.

“I think it’s a good thing for the South Bend community, but I don’t think it will play a huge role for students because a lot of people will still take their computers to the well-learned Mac specialists at OIT for free,” Gauger said. “It would make more of a difference for purchasing Apple products.”

Although she does not own an Apple computer, sophomore Betsy McGovern said she is interested in purchasing other Apple products from the new store location in the future.

“I would definitely rather buy a new iPod there than have to wait to get one when I go back home,” McGovern said. “It will be way more convenient for people to get their iPods fixed there as well.”

Smierciak also noted the prevalence of iPod-related issues among students and the fact that iPod repair locations were few and far between before the new store opened.

“OIT can’t really fix your iPod if it breaks, and it’s a common problem for a lot of students,” Smierciak said. “The new store will be awesome for students who have iPod problems.”

The “Go Irish Jobs” section of the Notre Dame Career Center website is currently advertising job openings for students at the Mishawaka Apple Store location and at locations across the country.