Japan’s Apple Stores Don’t Lock Up Their Merchandise: A Stark Contrast to the U.S.

In a viral video, an American tourist marvels at the lack of security tethers on iPhones and iPads in a Japanese Apple Store. The devices sit freely on the tables, a sight that would be unthinkable in most U.S. stores where such items are locked down to prevent theft.

The tourist remarks, “That’s because in Japan, they have a tradition. And they have a mentality. And they have respect. No one would do that.” Many viewers echo this sentiment, attributing the difference to Japan’s culture of honesty and social responsibility.

It’s a stark contrast to recent “smash-and-grab” robberies targeting U.S. Apple Stores. In one notorious incident in Philadelphia, looters rushed an Apple Store, snatching armfuls of iPhones, iPads and accessories.

However, their ill-gotten gains were short-lived. Apple quickly locked the stolen devices, rendering them useless.

Videos of the aftermath show the frustrated thieves futilely pouring orange juice on the bricked iPhones and smashing iPads on the pavement.

Many commenters mocked their ignorance, noting that Apple products are well-known for robust anti-theft measures like activation locks and remote disabling.

While the Philadelphia looters faced instant karma, the incident highlights a growing problem in U.S. retail – brazen, organized retail crime. Stores are increasingly resorting to locking up even modestly-priced items to deter shoplifters. It’s an arms race that inconveniences honest customers and drives up costs.

Meanwhile in Japan, unlocked merchandise and reserved seating with personal belongings are common sights, even in busy cities. Many attribute this to a combination of cultural values, community-mindedness, and low crime rates sustained by a justice system with a 99% conviction rate.

As the “land of the free” grapples with a tide of retail theft, it’s a poignant reminder that true freedom is enabled by individual responsibility, mutual consideration, and respect for others’ property.

While no society is perfect, Japan’s Apple Stores offer a tantalizing glimpse of what’s possible when those values are deeply rooted.

In the end, the viral video is more than just a chance to gawk at Japanese efficiency or mock some hapless thieves. It’s an invitation to reflect on the social fabric of our communities, and what we might learn from a culture where trust and respect are the default – even for something as tempting as a cutting-edge gadget.

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