updated 10:55 am EDT, Fri May 13, 2011
Apple Stores still scarce in region
One of Apple's key Asian retail partners, Foxlink, is planning to double the number of Apple-exclusive stores it operates in the region. The chain currently has about 50 stores, but says it will expand to 100 locations by the end of the year. Existing outlets are spread throughout China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Apple's primary manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is simultaneously working to expand its Cybermart chain of electronics stores. Seven to nine Chinese Cybermart malls should be finished by the end of the year, in locations such as Xiamen, Zhengzhou, Changchun, Taiyuan, Tianjin, Xinjiang, Kunming. Changchun operations are expected to open in July, and include an Apple resale outlet measuring 200 square meters.
Apple is highly dependent on resellers in southeast Asia. Although there are several Apple Stores in Japan, and four in China, people in the region must generally turn to third-party vendors for buying Apple hardware and software if not ordering from the company's online store. The bulk of Apple Stores are based in Europe and North America.