You can now visit Apple's first-ever store in AR

Apple Tysons Corner
Apple Tysons Corner (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple's first-ever retail stores opened 20 years ago today, May 19, 2001.
  • To celebrate you can now visit Apple Tysons Corner in AR.

Apple fans can now experience Apple's first-ever store in augmented reality in celebration of the store's 20 year anniversary.

From 9to5Mac:

On May 19, 2001, Apple opened its first two retail stores in Tysons Corner, Virginia and Glendale, California. Now you can revisit the world's first Apple Store exactly as it appeared twenty years ago on grand opening day through an interactive augmented reality experience... The augmented reality model below represents a painstaking reconstruction of that original store, from the number and color of Macs on each table to the third-party software titles on the shelves. Artwork on the walls and window displays are true to the era. The model is designed to be as accurate as possible within the parameters of available information.

The experience is an AR reconstruction of the store as it was when it was first opened, and can be viewed through the link on Safari on either iPhone or iPad.

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As the report notes, there is some disagreement about which Apple store was technically the first Apple store:

There is some disagreement in the Apple community about which Apple Store is the true "first" store. Many consider Apple Tysons Corner the first Apple Store because it opened three hours before Apple Glendale Galleria due to time zone differences. It's also the location Steve Jobs chose to tour and host a media preview at before opening. Others consider Apple Glendale Galleria the first Apple Store because it bears the rollout number R001, indicating that it was the first project planned internally. For the purposes of this article and the author's sanity, Apple Tysons Corner is referred to as the first Apple Store.

Around 99% of Apple's retail stores have now reopened after more than a year of COVID disruption, with many still operating on an appointment basis with measures like social distancing and mask-wearing still in place. Often situated in iconic city locations and sporting a wide range of distinctive designs, Apple's stores have previously been touted internally as its most important product.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9