FORTUNE — In a well-argued memo to management written by a friend of Apple (and former head of advanced product development and worldwide marketing), Jean-Louis Gassée devotes this week’s Monday Note to the blaring problem with the company’s new flagship store in Palo Alto that some are calling a prototype for future venues:
IT’S WAY TOO LOUD!
Louder, he points out, iPhone decibel meter app in hand, than the traffic outside on University Avenue. Louder, even, than the EPA-identified maximum to protect against hearing loss, sleep disturbance, stress, learning detriment, etc.
He doesn’t really believe that John Browett, the former CEO of Dixons brought in to run Apple Retail six months earlier and shown the door two days after the Palo Alto outlet opened, was fired because the store was too loud.
But Gassée began to think Apple (AAPL) was taking the decibel levels seriously when he spotted a professional sound pressure level (SPL) meter installed near a display and a pair of Apple staffers wearing omnidirectional sound recorders on their shoulders.