May 14, 2008

High-Tech on the Mag Mile

Finnish mobile phone maker Nokia picked Chicago's very own Michigan Avenue for its tricked-out flagship store. It was the first in the United States and second in the world, behind Moscow.

nokia flagship chicagoThe Nokia flagship store offers a few cutting-edge phones before they can be found elsewhere. Of course, calling these mobile devices 'phones' doesn't do them justice. Phones today can do a lot more than just call friends; they can take pictures, surf the Internet, and send text messages. In fact, you can send a text message from one of the demo phones that will display on a giant computer screen inside the tech shop. Within one minute, your message not only shows up on the wall inside the Chicago store, but also in the flagship store in New York City!

nokia flagship chicagoWhile Chicago and New York stores are now open in the United States, flagships have opened (and/or are set to open) in 18 cities worldwide. The stores feel just as hip and modern as the products on display. The lights and music make them feel more like dance clubs than a phone store, and the glass cases reserved for specialty items in the rear are reminiscent of a high-end jewelry boutique. The ultra-high-end Vertu phones in the back of the Chicago location start at $5000! Handmade in the UK, no plastic whatsoever is used in their construction, and the face is made of sapphire crystal, making it nearly impossible to scratch. Finally, a $59,000 model that was in the store during my last visit featured 940 diamonds, adding up to 6.6 karats.

apple store chicagoThe sleek Apple store is just a couple blocks down the street and is another place where you can check out the latest in technology. This high-tech two-story emporium on the Magnificent Mile opened in the summer of 2003 and continues to attract the famously loyal Apple fanatics devotees for workshops, classes, or the latest Mac or iPod. This interactive mecca allows customers to touch and explore to their hearts' content. There's even an internet caf' where shoppers can relax and check their e-mail. (A word of advice: Remember to always be careful about what kind of information you are sharing on a public computer. Also, make sure you are completely logged out of any e-mail services or networking sites you visit. You wouldn't want the next user to have access to your personal information!)

Check out some of b5media's related blogs.

the geeky travellerthe gadget blog
cellphone9the after mac

And for everything tech-related, from doodads to operating systems to video games, click on the b5media logo to see our network's very own Technology Channel.


Photo credit: (c/o Flickr) krazykritter (1, 2, 3), *nathan

Nokia Store: 543 N Michigan Ave; 312-670-2607
Mon ' Sat: 10:00 a.m. ' 7:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 2, 3, X4, 10, 26, 29, 65, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151, 157

Apple Store: 679 N Michigan Ave; 312-981-4104
Mon ' Sat: 10:00 a.m. ' 9:00 p.m.
Sun: 11:00 a.m. ' 6:00 p.m.
Street parking difficult
Public trans: Bus # 3, X4, 10, 26, 125, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147, 148, 151


3 comments to High-Tech on the Mag Mile

  1. Mary Jo
    May 14th, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    Wow — those are some phones!

    I remember when I had a car phone — it was mounted in the console, and took up good deal of room. Now we have sapphires and diamonds!

  2. Matt B
    May 15th, 2008 at 10:05 am

    There are some phones, like these, that are worth so much that I DON’T want it… for fear of losing it!

  3. Shanghai Terrace is Asian Sophistication
    July 15th, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    [...] and outside, (a block north of the Apple Store) the restaurant serves up elegant French-influenced Asian fare in a lustrous environment with [...]

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