This past weekend, the touchscreen part of my iPhone 3GS became what I can only describe as insensitive: it would hardly register any gestures or flicks up or down, and taps to the upper part of the screen wouldn't register. I felt completely stupid tapping forcefully on the screen: it's not as if there's anything mechanical going on that would respond better to such vigorous actions. There was even a point when I couldn't flick the slider to power off the phone: it's at the top of the screen.
Needless to say the bummed factor was high. I had visions of having to send it off to be repaired and not having it for several days. So, this morning I booked an appointment at the Genius Bar at my local Apple Store for them to diagnose the problem.
I arrived a bit early and had to wait a bit. The store was a-buzz. There were people at the Genius bar, people having One-On-One lessons, people playing with the computers and iPods. And there was I thinking that at 10 in the morning it would be empty. The whole atmosphere was congenial and collegiate. Relaxing even. No raised voices, no blaring muzak. I played around with various MacBooks and Macs.
John called me over, I explained what the problem was, and he messed around with the phone and agreed that not everything was well. He then took it into the back room to see if he couldn't fix it. And blow me down but he did. He said he essentially cleaned it and blew lint out of it and the touch functionality came back. No charge.
The whole experience was completely satisfying. While I was waiting for him to see if he could fix it, I watched a couple of other customers' interactions with the Genius Bar people (a couple of MacBooks, one iPod Classic, one iPhone), and it seemed they were satisfied too. In fact, I could totally get behind the "paying more for a Mac so you can have the Genius Bar" thing. I tend to buy Dell XPS laptops because of the styling and because the support tends to be better than normal Dell support, but the Genius Bar makes it so much easier.
Next year is the replacement year for my personal laptop. Maybe it's time to buy a MacBook Pro.