Feature: Apple Store, Tysons Grand Opening

Living only about 20 minutes from Tysons Corner Center, I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Apple Store yesterday, during its grand opening. I arrived at 2pm and took my place in line.

An hour and fifteen minutes later I was admitted, by the guards standing watch, into the store. It was worth the wait.

Apple's high-design store layout felt much more like a modern-art gallery than a computer retail outlet. The store was teeming with Apple sales people (and "geniuses" back around the Genius Bar) sporting black "Shop Different" t-shirts. All current Macs (save the dual-processor G4's which are a special order item) were represented either along stylish wall-displays or spread about various island display arrangements. The various AirPort wireless hubs, connecting all the Macs in the store to the 'net, were prominently display as well. There were Macs equipped with video cameras running iMovie, connected to ink-jet printers for print demonstrations, and sporting headphones for iTunes demos--all were running OS X.

There were more than just Macs on display for sale, rounding out the feel and value of the store. There was a moderate selection of boxed software on display, as well as various Handspring and Palm handhelds, and a nice selection of printers, scanners, displays, and speakers. The store is also selling a range of digital video cameras as well as various pocket MP3 players. And towards the back of the store, next to the Genius Bar, is the presentation area where Apple reps were working through a day-long schedule of product/technology demonstrations. Pretty good stuff.

It was a pretty impressive event, all around. A great many passers-by stopped and asked those in line what the stir was. I was asked by ten people, I'd say. "Are they giving something away?" they'd ask. "Is there someone famous in there?" When they heard that
there were no door prizes (well...you did get a t-shirt upon exiting), no celebrities, it was interesting to note their varied responses.

Some were simply surprised by the turnout. Others were somewhat dumbfounded ("the store's gonna be there tomorrow, and every other day, right?"). Others, still, were more shaken to the core, it seemed ("you have GOT to be KIDIDNG me--Christ!"). I think most "Mac people" present were in the line, so those asking about the event were a good representation of the 95% Apple is after. And I think the stores are going to be a big win for Apple, because regardless of how mystified the onlookers were upon seeing the massive line, after
shaking their heads for a few moments, every single one of them walked slowly by the store and gave this genuine curiosity a long, hard look.

There is no doubt that every single one of those people will pay a visit to that store at some point, to see what all the fuss was about. I'm sure everyone in the line was pleased and encouraged to see that sort of reaction. So even if each individual store is not profitable (which, looking at retail margins, I think is not unexpected), it's still a huge advertising win for Apple--which is precisely the point.

We'd be interested in hearing others' reactions, in the discussion forum, to the opening of this store and the one in Glendale. It will be interesting to track the turnouts as each new Apple Store opens, one every ten days for the rest of the year. In the meantime, if you're lucky enough to live in close proximity to one of these new stores, be sure to swing in and take a look. You never know what you'll walk away with (in my case, it was a new Epson printer)!

Popular Stories

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...