The difference between Apple and everyone else, in one photo

Apple is the largest technology company in the world for many reasons. But one of the most important is that it knows how to use its power. Here’s a good example we found recently while gadget shopping in Tokyo.

This is what most of the store—BIC Camera in Tokyo—looks like. This is a display in the PC department for Toshiba. You’ll notice poorly merchandised demo units, too many signs and pamphlets, garish decorations, bad lighting, and general visual and organizational chaos.

This is a normal PC brand’s display at BIC Camera. (Quartz/Dan Frommer)

Then if you turn 180 degrees, this is the “Apple Shop”—a store-within-a-store that’s present in several BIC Camera locations around Japan. It’s an amazingly calm section in an otherwise way-too-busy store, including the same sorts of fixtures, design, and merchandising that you’d find in one of Apple’s own retail stores.

BIC Camera Apple Shop
The “Apple Shop” store-within-a-store—totally different. (Quartz/Dan Frommer)

It has nicer lighting, dedicated staff, much better-looking furniture, and represents the Apple brand in a totally different, more premium way.

Could Toshiba, or any other brand, have one of these if it wanted? Maybe. But Apple is the one that does. Whether it’s power, connections, or just the foresight to come up with and execute this sort of idea, this is how Apple keeps winning.

Meanwhile, Samsung—surprise, surprise—is starting to roll out similar “Galaxy Shops” in the same Tokyo department stores, in an effort to boost sales. They’re okay, but not nearly as nice as Apple’s.

Read this next: One crazy hour inside a nine-floor Tokyo gadget store

home our picks popular latest obsessions search