Thursday, July 17, 2008

China Apple Store is to open on July 19th

Apple has been eyeing China for quite some time, the Cupertinco based company will finally be opening a big one in Beijing's Sanlitun entertainment district.

It's ready to open tomorrow at July 19th, after Apple has spent nearly US$40 million to renovate Qianmen Street, a half-mile stretch of land at the south-end of Tiananmen Square. This one will be the first in China, and 219th in worldwide.

Apple also has managed to flirt with local goverment, so when the street re-opens in May, it will be the second pedestrian-only shopping street in the city; and will feature 300 shops filling over 800,000 square-feet, including several international retailers such as Starbucks and Addidas. According to architecture sources, Apple’s store will blend in with the Chinese architecture rather than use its standard storefront designs.

The store Located in Beijing's Sanlitun entertainment district, about 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) northeast of Tiananmen Square, the Apple Store is overshadowed by another flagship retail outlet that has given the Village in Sanlitun complex its informal name: the "Adidas mall."

"This is the first of many stores we will open in China," said Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail, in remarks at the store. He later added that Apple will open stores "in Beijing, in Shanghai and beyond."

As usual, every Apple Store will host Genius Bar and in this China Apple Store will offer Genius Bar services in Chinese and English, said John Ford, the store's manager, with support in some other languages available, including German.

The only dissapointment would be that there'll be no iPhone available yet, since Apple & China Mobile is still pulling each other strings to bring iPhone to the main-land. Although Apple representatives do confirmed that the iPhone will be available in China but gave no date, and declined to comment on any talks with Chinese mobile operators.

But aside from the missing iPhone handsets (both the first gen & the 3G), chinese Apple-fanboys/girls will have the complete line-ups of iPod. The iPod Touch at there will be offered up to 32G bytes of memory, retailing for 4,488 Chinese yuan (US$647.33). The same item sells for $499 on Apple's U.S. online store.

Sources are from
PCW Business Center, Macuser & ifoAppleStore.

[blogged with my Treo 750v]

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