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Apple Store Union Square

On the 15th anniversary of its first-ever retail stores, Apple showed off its newest location, in downtown San Francisco.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

Apple's newest store is located three blocks from an older San Francisco store. CNET got an early preview with other reporters.

The front of the building has two giant sliding glass doors, which are 42 feet tall.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

The forum

A feature for new Apple stores is called the "forum." This includes a gigantic 6K video screen on a wall and seating for people to take photography classes and attend other sessions.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Retail chief

Angela Ahrendts, Apple's head of retail, joined the company two years ago to overhaul online and in-store retail.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Angela Ahrendts

"This is not just a store," Ahrendts said during a sneak peek for reporters at the store, the first in the world to feature the company's new retail design. "We want people to say, 'Meet me at Apple, did you see what's going on at Apple?'"

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Angela Ahrendts

Ahrendts served as CEO of fashion brand Burberry before joining Apple. Here, she states the case for a wall of colorful iPhone cases.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Plaza

The back plaza of Apple's new store will be open to the public 24-7 and will have free Wi-Fi. Any bets on how long it will take for someone to actually move into the park?

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Attention to detail

Wood grain is among the, um, granular details at Apple's flashy new retail outlet.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Grand staircase

Stairway to iHeaven.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Genius Grove

Goodbye, Genius Bar. Hello, Genius Grove. Apple created a new area for tech support in what Ahrendts called "the most beautiful place in the store."

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Genius Grove

"You know how iconic the Genius Bar is all around the world. But the word 'bar' denotes noisy, loud, chaotic," Ahrendts said. That's why the tech support area got a redesign.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Genius Grove

Yes, those are real trees.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Beats, Bose, and other headphones

Apple showcases third-party accessories in its stores, including many you can't buy anywhere else.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Glass and steel

New meets old with a view of one of San Francisco's many classically styled buildings.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Glass staircase

An entrance to SF's famous Union Square can be seen just outside the door and across the street.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

The forum and the Genius Grove

City on the left, country on the right. Take your pick.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

iPalms in Union Square.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

No word yet on whether Jony Ive instructed that woman to stand there so her bag would create a composition with the sign in the distance. It's possible.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

The avenue

The first floor of the new Apple Store is what the company calls the "avenue." It's supposed to feel like a small-town square with individual shops. Instead of a bakery, you'll have an Apple Watch section.

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Photo by: Josh Miller

Strolling the avenue

Browsers table-hop.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple bonding

An Apple Store employee chats with Ahrendts during her visit to the store Thursday. A Phantom 4 drone looks on.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

Happy Applers.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Bright lights

The ceilings in the new Apple Store feature hundreds of thousands of LEDs covered by cloth to give the room a bright glow.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

Apple Watches in the foreground, Apple watch cap in the back.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

Apple hopes levitating gadgets will inspire rising sales.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

It doesn't take a genius to tell you where to find the laptops.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

An Apple employee cases the joint.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

Clever cabinetry.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

A table of tablets.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

CNET photog Josh Miller channels Alexander Rodchenko (or maybe László Moholy-Nagy). Not bad, Josh!

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

This staffer's outfit simply kilt 'em. (Sorry, we just couldn't skirt that one.)

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Apple Store Union Square

A glowing wall of gizmos.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

Big box

Apple's store in San Francisco's Union Square opens to the public May 21.

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Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET

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