There are currently 246 Apple stores in the U.S. throughout 44 states. Within the stores, there are 27,350 retail employees, and 7,700 U.S.-based AppleCare Advisors. But where else do Apple consumers get their answers? In free, member-driven communities, where people can help one another with their various issues. This supports the new wave of social, where members within brand communities serve as their own experts, their own moderators, their own tech support, and enthusiastic evangelists.