Tim Cook greets iPhone 11 customers at Fifth Avenue store in New York

Key Points
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook greeted customers outside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store on Friday.
  • Customers were lined up outside waiting to buy Apple's new iPhone 11 models and the new Apple Watch.
  • The store was closed for renovations for more than two years, CNBC also got a tour inside.
Tim Cook opens the door at an NYC Apple Store as new iPhone goes on sale

Apple CEO Tim Cook greeted customers and opened doors at the reopening of the Fifth Avenue Apple Store on Friday. Lines of people formed early in the morning as folks waited for Apple's new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, as well as Apple's new Apple Watches. CNBC's Rahel Solomon was on location.

Apple CEO Tim Cook greets employees outside the Apple Store on Fifth Ave in New York, September 20, 2019.
Carlo Allegri | Reuters

The flagship store in New York has been closed for renovations since January 2017 but reemerged with a colorful (though temporary) rainbow glass covering earlier this month. It first opened in 2006 and was renovated in 2011.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple's flagship 5th Avenue store to purchase the new iPhone 11 on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Apple's new iPhone 11 goes on sale today at the grand re-opening of the 5th Avenue store.
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Customers enter through the glass cube, steps away from New York's Central Park, and take either an elevator or stairs down to an underground store. Apple said it worked with its architect to "reimagine the plaza" to "remove the boundaries from Fifth Avenue." Apple added 18 "sky lenses" and "62 sky lights" to bring light down into the store. There are also two new entrances, to the north and to the south of the cube.

The location will be open 24 hours a day. On Thursday, CNBC was invited to take a tour of the new store. Here's what it's like inside.

Here's the outside of the new store, with the Apple logo glowing bright:

The new Fifth Avenue Apple Store.

This is Apple's redesigned staircase spiraling down into the store:

The new staircase inside Apple's Fifth Avenue Store.

Here's the inside:

Inside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.

Check out this art piece. It's a wall of AirPods representing musical notes. Anyone know the song?

There's a piece of art that looks like musical notes made out of AirPods.

Apple says the LED lights and skylights help people feel like they're not in a store that's underground.

LED lights try to mimic the daytime so you don't feel like you're underground.

Look at them all!

New LED lights inside the Fifth Avenue Apple Store.

The new iPhone 11 family is here, of course.

The iPhone 11 family.

Here's the new Apple Watch Studio, where people can pick the bands and watch they want:

Apple Watch Studio lets you pick the exact parts of your Apple Watch, from bands to the case.

This is an augmented reality station where people can see how AR works on iPhones and iPads:

Trying an AR demo with an iPhone.

A bunch of iPads showing off Apple Arcade are hanging on the wall. The new gaming service launches on Thursday.

Apple Arcade loaded up on a few iPads.

Beats headphones have a prominent position. Check out all those colors:

A wall of Beats headphones.

Apple has a section dedicated to its new fall color accessories, too.

Apple's fall accessories line the wall.

That's it! The store opens at 8 a.m. tomorrow.

Apple Fifth Avenue Store
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