When talking about Apple’s rise from near-bankruptcy to become the most valuable company in the world, people often credit the amazing string of products from the iMac to the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad. And rightfully so. But just as important was another piece of the puzzle that ensured said products would find mainstream appeal and acted as an accelerant for Apple’s success: the Apple Stores.
When Apple first got into the retail game a little over a decade ago, many people scoffed. In hindsight, Apple seems to do quite well when people scoff (see: here and here) — it sort of makes sense, if an idea was obvious, others would have done it. But others in Apple’s position had tried to do retail and failed (see: Gateway — complete with cows out front — Sony, etc).