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Apple says Chicago store's snow problems are result of software issue

By Roger Fingas

Troubles with snow and ice at Apple's North Michigan store in Chicago were attributable to glitches in a rooftop warming system, rather than any inherently bad architecture, according to the company.

The warming system "needed some fine-tuning," and was reprogrammed on Friday, Apple spokesman Nick Leahy told the Chicago Tribune. "It's hopefully a temporary problem."

Leahy added that while the roof lacks gutters to catch melting snow, it does drain water, passing it through internal support columns instead.

Apple endured criticism and ridicule last week when it was forced to rope off surrounding areas to cope with falling material. The store sports an unusual flat roof with rounded edges, reminiscent of a MacBook lid. As usual, Apple's design help came from London's Foster & Partners.

Apple is often accused of prioritizing aesthetics over practical concerns. For years, for instance, the company made the thinness of iPhones a key selling point, even as some people complained they were becoming hard to hold and that they would rather have more battery life.

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