updated 09:25 am EDT, Thu August 28, 2008
Belfast, San Mateo stores
Apple is nearing the launch of its first retail store in Northern Ireland, according to multiple accounts. The company's Belfast store, as hinted at in March, is said by The Irish News to be "on the verge of opening" in Victoria Square, although the paper claims that Apple is keeping even the store's existence under wraps. The store is definitely known to exist however, as photos (see below) clearly show the construction of Apple's typical glass facade, complete with a hollowed-out space for an Apple logo.
The store is on the upper ground level of the Square, and is expected to open sometime before the holiday season this year. Apple is meanwhile said by a MacNN source to be building another California store, this time one for San Mateo. The location is within the Hillsdale Mall, where a black cover with a white Apple logo has been placed over one of the stalls. Little else is known, but California has traditionally held the most dense population of Apple Stores, with three being located inside San Francisco alone.