10 Years Of The Apple Store App: The Design Of Shopping

Apple released the Apple Store app in the App Store. The app recognized the growing importance of mobile shopping on the iPhone and elevated the in-store experience at Apple Retail Stores. On its 10th anniversary, let’s take a look back at the app’s design evolution and how it changed the way we shop.The Easiest Way To Buy

Before the Apple Store app, the only way to buy an Apple product from your iPhone or iPad was to open Safari and head to Apple’s online store website. These were the days before responsive web design, meaning that you needed to navigate a desktop site on your iPhone’s browser. 

The Apple Store app launched in the US on the same day that Apple opened pre-orders for the iPhone 4 and unveiled a redesigned Mac mini, giving it the ultimate trial by fire. IPhone 4 pre-orders were so much higher than Apple expected that the online store infrastructure collapsed under pressure. AT&T said it was the “busiest sales day” in the history of the company. Apple issued a statement apologizing to customers who had trouble ordering.

Despite the hectic launch, the Apple Store app truly was, as Apple billed it, “the easiest way to buy or reserve your new iPhone.” It would be instrumental in the future of physical Apple Stores and helped capture community excitement ahead of new product launches.

DetroitBORG demos the original Apple Store app.

Within a few months, Apple added the ability to custom engrave products and configure Macs, reserve pickups, and check in for reservations at a physical Apple Store right within the app. Custom engraving remains a popular feature to this day and has expanded to include products like the Apple Pencil and emoji engraving on AirPods.

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