The first Apple Store opened May 19, 2001 at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Virginia. At the time most folks thought it was a bad idea because Apple Computer had reported several quarters of losses and other computer stores were doing badly. Now there are 300 Apple Stores open all over the world, and far from losing money, retail revenue is increasing steadily.
Now there are rumors about an Apple Store 2.0—supposedly a major overhaul of how the store operates, which was developed by Apple’s Senior VP of Retail Ron Johnson, Apple’s Senior VP of Industrial Design Jonathan Ive, and Apple CEO Steve Jobs. One revised feature is dedicated areas for their Personal Setup service called Startup Sessions, which might be used to provide a better experience for those new to the Mac OS. Another change is replacing the paper signs that describe each product with iPads that will be more interactive. At some Apple Store locations there will be improved displays and sound systems, which are described as “huge.” There will also be an interactive Apple Store iOS app that will supposedly know which Apple Store customers are in and ask if they want to see a specialist.
An unnamed source said there’s going to be an overnight shift this weekend from late Saturday through mid Sunday, and that those involved will “be required to lock cell phones away in the main office, sign an NDA with Apple, and place a black curtain in store windows so no one can see inside.” So far, there’s no information about what they might possibly be doing.
Regardless of how (or if) Apple decides to celebrate 10 years of Apple Stores, let’s just be grateful they’re open at all. There were multiple times when people proclaimed Apple Computer finished as a company, and when getting software and hardware was practically impossible. With the plethora of choices we have, the latest technological marvels from Apple, game companies acknowledging Mac gamers, and WWDC promising information about Mac OS X v10.7, this is a great time to be an Apple fan.
Via [9 to 5 Mac]