ifoAppleStore’s Gary Allen dead from brain cancer at 67

“There are plenty of goofballs — like me — who stand outside Apple stores all night waiting for the company’s latest, thinnest, must-have offering,” Michael S. Rosenwald reports for The Washington Post. “There was nobody like Gary Allen, who died Sunday from brain cancer at 67.”

“Allen, a retired EMS dispatcher, traveled around the world — obsessively and expensively — to be among the first in line at the company’s new stores. He attended more than 140 openings, collecting all sorts of trivia. He could even tell you where Apple store tables are made (Utah; he stopped by the factory once to say thanks),” Rosenwald reports. “The history of Apple’s global conquest is stamped in Allen’s passport.”

“I met Allen four years ago when he drove from his home in Berkeley, Calif., to Tysons Corner Mall in Virginia. It was an unconventional cross-country destination but understandable given the occasion: The 10th anniversary of Apple’s first store,” Rosenwald reports. “By then he had turned his passion for Apple stores, which now number 450, into a widely read blog about Apple’s retail operation called ifo Apple Store. It was followed closely by tech bloggers, Wall Street analysts and Apple store employees, who greeted him at the Tysons Corner store with awe.”

Gary Allen
Gary Allen
“‘He made all kinds of friends all over the world,’ his brother, Jim Allen, told me when he called to tell me about Gary’s death. ‘I think that’s the part of it he most enjoyed,'” Rosenwald reports. “In March, Allen announced his blog was ending, saying so many others were following the stores now. ‘Who am I to keep up with them?’ he wrote. ‘So, I’m going to focus on my family and friends, drop the demands of writing and get back to what it was before—just fun.’ …The real reason he gave it up, his brother said, was the brain cancer diagnosis. He didn’t want people to worry or fuss over him. The site is down, likely for good. Allen leaves behind another brother, Bob Allen, his wife Nancy, son Devin, and an incredible free spirit.”

Much more in the full article – very highly recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Take: Besides being a true original, Gary Allen was simply a very nice man. This is sad news. He is gone much too soon and he will be missed.

ifoAppleStore.com is now offline, but, thankfully, you can still see Gary’s work via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine here.

ifoAppleStore shuts down after 14 years – March 28, 2015


  1. I had his site pinned as a favorite. Read it at least every week. It was an outstanding source of info about Apple Retail – even delving into demographics, distances between stores, which metro areas were ripe for stores, etc. I enjoyed corresponding with Gary as well – he was a very kind soul. RIP

  2. What a man. Didn’t want people to worry about him.
    Second thought, I think we would want to worry about him.
    So sorry for his family’s loss, for our loss. I didn’t know him, but surely he held a piece of all of us.

    To his family, his son, his legacy.

  3. Apple Stores are the unique connection between the sometimes enigmatic Apple and the World. Gary’s observations really personalized Apple to many devout interested customers. His perspective was special, seasoned, and very well presented.

  4. I’m sure when Mr. Allen gets to Heaven, Steve Jobs will be there to greet him and say of him and his efforts to cover the growth of Apple stores, that it was “Insanely Great!”

  5. What a surprise! I met Gary and Devin in Sydney for the Apple Store opening. He was unassuming, 100% cordial and authentic. We shared some good laughs and Apple insights.

    I am saddened by his passing. My heart goes out to his family and followers who knew him far better than I. Tis a sad day when the good souls traverse their final journey.

    My hope is that he is in the warm embrace of those he follows home and that he will he kind words from the Father of us all. “Well done. Well done.”

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