Apple Store vs. Apple App Store: What’s the Difference?

3 Min Read

The terms Apple Store and Apple App Store are often used interchangeably, but they serve distinct functions in the Apple ecosystem. If you’ve ever wondered what differentiates these two, then you’re in the right place. Let’s demystify the Apple lingo and dive into the nuances between the Apple Store and the Apple App Store.

What is the Apple Store?

The Apple Store is essentially the place where you can purchase Apple hardware and accessories. It’s akin to a marketplace where you can buy products such as iPhones, MacBooks, iPads, and all the fancy accessories that go with them.

The Apple Store also organizes free workshops and events to learn new skills, discover new apps, and meet other creative people who share your interests.

Furthermore, you can trade in your old Apple devices regardless of their condition–for credit towards a new one or recycle them for free.

There are two types of Apple Stores: brick-and-mortar and online.

Brick-and-Mortar Apple Store

The physical Apple Stores are a haven for Apple enthusiasts. You can walk into these sleek, minimalist stores to experience Apple products firsthand. Whether it’s getting the feel of the latest iPhone or getting a tutorial on how to use a Mac, the physical store has got it all.

Moreover, these stores often have a Genius Bar – a section where you can get technical support, advice, and repair services for your Apple products.

The majority of U.S. stores operate within indoor shopping malls, while some stores are standalone locations along busy streets or shopping areas. Apple also has a number of flagship stores worldwide, considered by many to be architectural wonders, including its iconic Fifth Avenue glass cube in New York City, Tower Theater location in Los Angeles, and Regent Street store in London, England.

Online Apple Store

If you’re someone who prefers shopping from the comfort of your home, the online Apple Store is for you. It’s accessible through the web at or through the Apple Store app. Here, you can purchase products, customize configurations (like choosing the memory size for your MacBook), and even get customer support.

What is the Apple App Store?

The Apple App Store, on the other hand, is a digital distribution platform. This is where you download and manage applications for your Apple devices, such as iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

For over a decade, the App Store has proved to be a safe and trusted place to discover and download apps. From productivity tools, social media apps, games, to virtually any type of app, the Apple App Store is a treasure trove of software that can augment your Apple device’s capabilities. And it’s not just third-party apps; Apple also offers cool services to improve your experience.

For example, Apple Arcade gives users unlimited access to exclusive games that are completely ad-free and free from microtransactions. Other Apple services you can get via App Store with an Apple One subscription include Apple TV , Apple Music, Apple News , and Apple Fitness .

Features of the Apple App Store

  • Discoverability: With categories, featured apps, and recommendations, finding new apps is a breeze.
  • Purchases and In-App Purchases: You can buy paid apps or make in-app purchases for additional features or content.
  • Updates: The App Store is where you get the latest updates for your apps, ensuring security and new features.
  • Family Sharing: Share purchases with up to six family members while keeping each person’s account separate and private.

The Common Thread

Though different, the Apple Store and the Apple App Store share a common goal: providing you with quality products and services to enrich your Apple experience.

In a Nutshell

  • Apple Store is a physical and online marketplace to purchase products exclusively made and featured by Apple.
  • Apple App Store is a digital marketplace for downloading and managing apps on your Apple devices.


So, there you have it! The Apple Store is your go-to destination for Apple hardware, while the Apple App Store breathes life into these devices with a myriad of apps. Both play a critical role in making the most out of your Apple products.

The next time you hear someone using these terms interchangeably, you can now kindly enlighten them on the differences between the Apple Store and the Apple App Store. Happy Apple adventuring! 🍏

Share This Article
GeeksModo Staff is a team of iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch experts led by Moses Johnson. We're passionate about all things Apple!
Leave a comment