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(Pocket-lint) - Norman Foster's architecture firm is to turn its hand to Apple's vast retail network in order to refresh the store's design. Foster + Partners has previously helped build the likes of the jaw-dropping McLaren Technology Centre, which we recently visited.

Apple traditionally works with architecture firm 8 Inc to create its retail stores, such as its Regent Street London flagship, which hardly seem dated. 

Apple even managed to  trademark its retail outlet design in January this year and Samsung has also announced it will be launching its own dedicated retail stores. 

Steve Jobs hired Foster + Partners to help design and create the new UFO-style Apple headquarters, still under construction. Recent estimates for the cost of the building have jumped to £3.3 billion. 

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Apple's retail network is said to be some of the highest-earning square footage in the shopping world. By November of last year it was making nearly double of that of any other US retailer. Values were estimated at $6,050 per square foot, an incredible figure for a shop that sells such a limited range of products.

Expect it to be  a good few years before we see changes: designs for the Apple HQ were unveiled in June 2011 and it still isn't finished. Apple's coveted retail network continues to grow at an impressive rate. Flagship stores in both Shanghai and India continue to extend the company's reach.

Writing by Hunter Skipworth.