As Apple commemorates the tenth anniversary of the Apple Store retail launch, it’s fun to take a look back and see what things were like a decade ago. In this pre-launch video from 2001, Steve Jobs gives us a walkthrough of Apple’s newest creation.
The stores still have the same overall look and feel, but there were fewer computers on hand and more accessories and peripherals back at that time. A full 50% of the floor space is dedicated to showcasing solutions and software for sale which runs on the Mac. Contrast that with current day, where boxed software products are disappearing from store shelves at a rapid clip and soon none may be stocked at retail at all.
The G3 iMac and iBook, and the G4 PowerMac and PowerBook Titanium, were the core products of the day. Airport wireless networking was the hot new technology, and Steve gleefully shows off how cool it is to pick your computer up and surf the internet without wires. Quite easy to pick up the PowerBook, in fact – those security cables which lock the laptops to the tables were probably introduced sometime on day two.
The Genius Bar was a lot smaller then, just a small table in the back nearly overshadowed by the other sections of the store. Check out the red batphone on the back counter which Geniuses could use to call Cupertino should a problem stump the locals. I don’t even remember that, wonder how long it lasted?
The back of the store had a theater for product demos, announcements and training. Within a few years those were all removed to make room for the ever-expanding Genius Bars. And you gotta love those Flower Power iMacs at the front checkout counters! Customers weren’t very fond of this model (or it’s companion in Blue Dalmatian), I wonder if Apple needed some way to put their excess stock to use?
It’s not noted which store this is, could be Tyson’s Corner VA or Glendale CA. Anyone recognize the trappings of the time?
UPDATE: The store is Tyson’s Corner VA, and the video was shown at MacWorld New York in 2001. The final version had music under Steve’s narration, this appears to be a rough-cut of that presentation.