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 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Google maps feaure

Google Maps Finally Rolls Out Glanceable Directions

Wednesday February 28, 2024 2:07 am PST by
After more than a year since announcing the feature, Google Maps is finally rolling out glanceable directions on Android and iOS (via Android Police). The feature allows users to view turn-by-turn directions and a live ETA directly from their device's lock screen – information that was previously only visible when a phone was unlocked. Glanceable directions also work on the app's route...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
M3 MacBook Air Feature

New MacBook Air Models Launching This March: 5 Features to Expect

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:50 am PST by
The existing 15-inch MacBook Air arrived in June 2023, which is not that long ago in terms of Mac update cycles. However, Apple released the current 13-inch ‌MacBook Air back in June 2022. It is now the oldest Mac in Apple's current crop, having not been updated in 600 days. But rumors suggest that is unlikely to be the case for much longer. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

OLED iPad Pro's Thin Design Highlighted in CAD Drawings

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:22 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new version of the iPad Pro that is set to launch as soon as March, and the refresh will mark the biggest design update to the Pro lineup since 2018. Apple is transitioning to OLED displays, and the swap will allow for a major change to the overall thickness of the device. CAD drawings of the upcoming ~11-inch and ~13-inch iPad Pro models give us some insight into just...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...