Apple Begins Banning In Store Facebook Access?

Earlier today I was contacted by Jason Wilk from TinyComb who claimed that all stores had Facebook disabled, including three that he tested. I proceeded to call a number of stores here in the Washington, D.C. area and one out of three couldn’t access Facebook. One Apple store representative that I spoke to said that MySpace has been banned for a long time but Facebook has not.

Why the discrimination against MySpace? I have no idea but Facebook and Apple are known to have a fairly strong relationship so it makes sense. Does banning Facebook in stores make a lot of sense? Not really considering Apple’s sales continue to break records each quarter. The company is rapidly capturing large portions of the personal computer marketplace.

Conversely, avoiding having customers come in to the store to use it as a free internet cafe makes a lot of sense. Want to save money? Just show up to the Apple store when they open each day and turn their top of the line computer into your personal office! Apparently some customers were spending too much time on Facebook but part of this argument just doesn’t seem rational.

Personally, I’ve witnessed numerous individuals sitting in Apple stores and browsing social networks. I’m sure Apple prefers customers don’t spend hours on end using the computers but then again, isn’t this how they can sell more computers? Apple is known for constantly having customers in the store. There may be a down economy but every time I walk into an Apple store it’s always busy (perhaps it’s the part of the country I live in though).

So has Apple banned Facebook in your stores? We haven’t been able to get an absolute confirmation that it’s unavailable in all stores but there is sufficient evidence to indicate the start of a possible trend. While I doubt it will have a substantial impact on Facebook’s traffic, it could impact the relationship between the two companies.

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