updated 08:35 pm EDT, Sat June 28, 2008
Apple retail in China
Apple will open a new store in Beijing in July just in time for the 2008 Summer Olympics and is planning to open a second store sometime during the Games, according to The Shanghai Daily. The store, the first on the Chinese mainland, will open in the Sanlitun, a popular area of the capital city, according to Apple China's website. The three-floor retail store will open July 19, with a second location open in the Qianmen area during the Olympic games (according to an industry insider via ShanghaiDaily.com). Apple China is not releasing any other details on the store launches, such as the time of day for the opening.
The retail opening comes on the heels of Apple's store-within-a-store launched via Apple's Best Buy partnership in Shanghai's Xuhui district in April and on the heels of a report indicating that the major hurdles have been cleared to bring the iPhone to China.
The new Apple-branded store is Apple's next effort to penetrate the world's largest mobile phone market and second-largest personal computer market.
The store will offer standard retail pricing for Apple products, a change from many of China's licensed Apple retailers, which often charge higher than retail prices. the store will help establish the iPhone in China, which is expected to launch later in 2008, according to comments by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Analysts expect the 2G iPhone to launch first, as 3G networks will not be up and running this year in mainland China.