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Five Must-See Apple Stores In The World

July 21, 2009 at 12:25 PM | by | ()

It's late in the day and you've been anxiously twittering or emailing with friends about plans for evening when, horror of horrors, your enter key splits right in half. You call up the Genius Bar at your local Apple store to make an appointment, and while the Mac Genius is busy laughing at your misfortune, you stand back and look at the gleaming retail environment around you. It could be an awesome minimalist art studio without the gadgets, but with them it's a technology fantasyland.

Apple stores, magical places which can make your paycheck disappear with the tap of a touchscreen, place just as much stock in the design of their shop interiors as in the look of their laptops. Even their many mall stores attract because of the focus on simple, clean and classic design— an anomaly in your typical mall.

Speaking of anomalies, several of Apple's 250+ international stores stand out as true innovators, whether due to their architectural details or interior features, and we'll show you which and why in our Five Must-See Apple Stores Map.

Five Must-See Apple Stores In The World

Apple Regents Street in London
An Apple store owned by the monarchy.

Although Boston's Apple store, which opened in 2008, claims the title of largest Apple store in the United States, London's 28,000-square feet of selling space easily awards it the badge of largest Apple store in the chain. And the shop literally holds court over Europe; according to the ultimate resource on worldwide Apple stores, ifo Apple Store, the historical building which houses London's Apple is owned by the monarchy. For many years it was also the site of the famed Thomas Cook Travel Agency. With 46 feet of Genius Bar, an iMovie Studio and all of the usual clean design additions of Apple—like a glass staircase and elevator—it's definitely good enough for the Queen. It's the 99th Apple store.

Apple George Street in Sydney
Largest Apple logo in the world.

It's hard to believe that Apple's first store Down Under only debuted last summer in Sydney, but thankfully the wait was worth it. Not only does the George Street shop boast the longest Genius bar and size second only to London's Regent Street, it takes the signature glass staircase and turns it into an art piece, accomplished by stacking the levels. The storefront itself is also architecturally notable, boasting of the largest seamless glass panes as well as the largest Apple logo in the world. It's the 215th Apple store.

Apple Ginza in Tokyo
Floor-by-floor info displays guide you around.

[Photo: kamoda]

What do you say to five full stories of Apple goodies? Awesome, right? Well, if you're in Tokyo, you can see this fantasy at work in the heart of the Ginza district, where Apple's first store outside of the United States dominates a corner and an entire building. Before the store opened way back in 2003, many of its associates trained at California Apple stores, and they speak over ten languages. Aside from an underground parking garage, the Ginza location shines for its buttonless elevator, with floor-by-floor info displays (watch the video here. It's the 72nd Apple store.

Apple Scottsdale Quarter in Scottsdale, AZ
A glass box in the desert.

[Photo: Apple]

Not all unique Apple stores have to giant flagships; the newly-opened Scottsdale mall one in Arizona is a perfect example of innovation on a small scale. Resembling a clear box, with identical floor-to-ceiling glass storefronts on both ends, the Scottsdale store is the ultimate in showy minimalism. It's 50-ft Genius Bar even beats out London's by 4 feet. With such a clear design, You might ask yourself where are the bathrooms and stock room—they're in the attached building next door, maintaining the aesthetic simplicity of the sales floor. It's the 292nd Apple store.

Apple Fifth Avenue in New York City
Always open. Always.

[Photo: ultrahi]

Apple Fifth Avenue has some serious competition for being the top Apple store in New York; the Meatpacking store boasts a three-level spiral glass staircase and the the Soho one, a flagship and the first one in NYC, occupies a historic Post Office building on the National Register. Vaulting Fifth Avenue into first place however, are two major advantages: its iconic glass cube entrance is one of the most photographed places in the world on Flickr, and the store is open 24/7/365.

By comparison with other landmark stores, this one is quite small, but the fact that it's completely underground at a point where Central Park touches Fifth Avenue means that it's a tourist mecca. Don't even think of coming here to quickly check your email; everyone else has the same idea. It's the 147th Apple Store.

Have the inside scoop on Apple stores and know a few features or shops we should point out? Email them over or leave them in the comments!

Related Stories:
· IFO Apple Store [Official Site]
· The Most Shocking McDonald's Locations In The World [Jaunted]
· More McDonald's Locations That Make You Go 'Hmmm...' [Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

need to go to one of these

i always end up going to the ones in malls where i inevitably get frustrated by the crowds. maybe in these bigger shops there will be more space to move around...or not.