Juli Clover for MacRumors:
Reads like an article from The Onion.
I see what they’re probably trying to do (“Hey, meet me at Apple.”), but even so, almost everyone knows what Apple Stores are, and identify them by that moniker. Maybe if they changed the name ten years ago this would work, but it’s probably too late now to create that dissociation.
On top of that, I think there’s a lot less upside to this than Apple would like to believe. The only possible advantage I could think of is some degree of refinement of their brand, but even that’s really pushing it.
Also, how will they refer to their stores now in a press release or keynote, where the name “Apple” will be mentioned under different contexts? Even simply referring to them as “stores” – common noun – might lead people to believe it’s okay to call them “Apple Stores” again.