iPhones Change but Apple Stores Have Remained the Same Since 2001

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple ( AAPL) product lovers around the globe are lining up outside the company's retail stores to shell out hundreds of dollars for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus that officially go on sale Friday.

But those Apple devotees -- so obsessed with the latest hardware and software from the tech giant -- may fail to realize that the store housing the new digital swag largely hasn't been updated since 2001. Actually, since the first Apple retail store opened on May 19, 2001, at Tysons Corner Center in McLean, Va., the interior buying environment has counted new wall photos (recent) as one of the only major enhancements.

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Sprucing up the interior of the Apple store is the job of former Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, who officially joined the company in May as senior vice president, retail and online stores. Ahrendts has embarked on a tour of Apple stores around the globe, and likely has a growing to-do list from all of this interaction. 

Ahrendts has to move quickly to introduce the Apple store of the future as competitive threats from Samsung shops at Best Buy (BBY) and Walmart (WMT) continue to sprout, and as Amazon.com (AMZN) seeks a major position in the smartphone market, which may eventually include physical flagship retail stores.

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