Sometimes we get lost in the data here at Thinknum, and the process of finding our way out of the mire can turn up some of our most interesting - or at least fun - stories. In this case, when we were doing a sweep of Apple ($AAPL) stores in the United States on the off chance we'd find some outliers, we saw Barrow, Alaska blinking atop all the others like a little lighthouse that could.
The northernmost city in the United States, Barrow (now known as its original name, Utqiaġvik) is also the northernmost place you can buy an iPhone in the states. That’s because the city is home to a GCI Retail store, where you can get cable television, home phone service, and, yes, an Apple iPhone X.
But you can’t drive there. Instead, you’d have to fly into Wiley Post–Will Rogers Memorial Airport, the United States’ northernmost airport.
Don’t be fooled by Barrow’s quaint appearance - it is no economic slouch. Home to several retail outlets, a Wells Fargo Bank, and a number of hotels, it also has a healthy economy dedicated to oil-field operations, tourism, and indigenous arts and crafts.
Here are some other fun facts about Barrow:
- Between May 10 and August 2, the sun never sets.
- Archaeological evidence of human habitation in Barrow goes back to 800 AD, making it one of the oldest inhabited towns in the United States.
- The original name of Barrow, Ukpeagvik, means “the place where we hunt snowy owls.”
- During the summer, you can join tours of Barrow that include polar bear watching.
- Humorist Will Rogers crashed - and died - in a plane near Barrow in 1935.