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

ios 16 beta 5 battery percent

iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage Now Displayed in iPhone Status Bar

Monday August 8, 2022 10:43 am PDT by
With the fifth beta of iOS 16, Apple has updated the battery icon on iPhones with Face ID to display the specific battery percentage rather than just a visual representation of battery level. The new battery indicator is available on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, with the exception of the 5.4-inch iPhone 12/13 mini. It is also available on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, XS and XS Max, and...
iPhone 14 Lineup Feature Purple

Color Options for All iPhone 14 Models: Everything We Know

Monday August 8, 2022 3:59 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models are rumored to be available in a refreshed range of color options, including an all-new purple color. Most expectations about the iPhone 14 lineup's color options come from an unverified post on Chinese social media site Weibo earlier this year. Overall, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro's selection of color options could look fairly similar to those of the ...
iOS 16 battery percentage

Apple Limiting iOS 16 Beta 5 Battery Percentage Display to Select iPhones: Here Are the Supported Devices

Tuesday August 9, 2022 2:51 am PDT by
Apple this week brought back one of the most highly requested features from iOS users since the launch of the iPhone X in 2017: the ability to see your battery percentage directly in the status bar. Ever since the launch of the iPhone X with the notch, Apple has not allowed users to show their battery percentage directly in the status bar, forcing them to swipe down into Control Center to...
ios 16 battery indicator 2

Everything New in iOS 16 Beta 5: Battery Percentage in Status Bar, Find My Changes and More

Monday August 8, 2022 12:53 pm PDT by
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of iOS 16 to developers for testing purposes, introducing some small but notable changes to the iOS operating system. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've rounded up everything new in the fifth beta below. Battery Percentage in Status Bar The battery icon in the status bar now displays the exact battery percent, a feature that ...
iphone 14 pro max camera bump compared lipilipsi 16 9

Bigger iPhone 14 Pro Max Camera Bump Shown Alongside iPhone 13 Pro Max

Monday August 8, 2022 4:33 am PDT by
The camera bump on the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro Max is expected to be the largest rear lens housing Apple has ever installed on its flagship smartphones, and a new photo offers a rare glimpse at just how prominent it is compared to Apple's predecessor device. iPhone 14 Pro Max dummy (left) vs iPhone 13 Pro Max All iPhone 14 models are expected to see upgrades to the Ultra Wide camera on the...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
airpods pro black background

Beyond iPhone 14: Five Apple Products Expected to Launch Later This Year

Monday August 8, 2022 9:43 am PDT by
While the iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 are expected to be announced in September as usual, there are several more Apple products rumored to launch later this year, including new iPad and Mac models and more. Beyond the iPhone and Apple Watch, we've put together a list of five Apple products that are most likely to be unveiled by the end of 2022. Second-Generation AirPods Pro Apple...