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Monday, 26 May 2008 04:54

Banner unfurled at Sydney Apple store site but it's not yet open

Apple’s first Australian store on the corner of King and George Sts in Sydney hasn’t yet opened, but there’s movement at the station indicating Apple’s iconic retail store will open soon. Will authorised Apple retailers be set into a crunchy spin?

An Apple Australia representative has emailed iTWire advising us that “a banner covering all three levels of the store went up overnight announcing that Apple will be coming soon” because they know we are “interested in the Apple retail store”.

Having had the chance to visit Apple stores in the US, the retail experience Apple provides is truly unique, blowing away the traditional retailer that thinks box stacking is the way to win the hearts and minds of consumers.

With no traditional cash registers in sight, wide open spaces, huge glass shopfront windows, plenty of stock switched on and ready for consumers to play with, helpful and knowledgeable staff, tons of accessories, upstairs free training courses and plenty of Apple’s famous ‘white’ colour, you haven’t experienced the power of modern retailing until you’ve seen the way Apple does it.

With three levels of retail space, to play with, there’s room to move, room to conduct different training sessions on many of Apple’s products and services, from OS X to iLife to Final Cut Pro, while the famed ‘Genius Bar’ will also finally make its first Australian appearance.

Apple’s Australian representative advises that “this is the first public statement Apple [Australia] has made around the store” and that ‘no dates have been announced with regards to the opening of the store at this time.”

Naturally, rumour mongers such as myself believe the store will open on or near June 9 (which is June 10 in Australia) when Steve Jobs strides upon the stage at the Moscone Center in San Francisco to welcome thousands of delegates to Apple’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC).

What’s expected to be on offer at the WWDC and why is this a likely time for the Apple store to open?

Please read on to page 2.

It’s here that Steve Jobs is expected to announce the 3G iPhone, along with plenty of information on Mac OS X Leopard, OS X for iPhone, third party application development and the iPhone App Store, the iPhone 2.0 firmware and plenty more – and might even give hints or even announce a Mac Tablet.

Given that telecommunications companies around the world have announced they are set to sell the iPhone, with some countries having, for the first time, more than one official iPhone telco, all rumours point to global 3G iPhone sales starting on, or soon after, June 9 US time.

Of course, 3G iPhone sales may only start in the US and Canada first, with Europe, Australia and other territories to come ‘soon after’.

Rumours also suggested that Steve Jobs himself may be travelling to Australia to officially open his first Australian store and the Australian iPhone, but obviously this would not happen until after the WWDC, and perhaps not until stocks of the 3G iPhone arrive down under – if they are not already here.

So, now that a banner has been unfurled, covering all three levels of the Australian Apple store, the true countdown to its opening can begin.

Whether Steve Jobs makes it to Australia or not, Apple’s authorised reseller partners, of which there are at least two, if not more, in the Sydney CBD, must now be wondering how successful their stores will be given the intense attraction a “real” Apple store will hold over the Apple loving and/or curious public.

Indeed, the only people in Australia who are likely to be unhappy about Apple’s Australian retail entry would be authorised resellers.

So, if you live in Sydney, you’ll definitely want to check out the store when it opens. A second store in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood is due to open later this year, as is a store in Melbourne’s CBD, Australia’s second largest city.

We asked Apple Australia for a photograph of the new banner around their first Sydney store but none is available as yet. If and when it comes, we'll publish it at iTWire.



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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.



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