|A new Apple store scheduled to open on Saturday in Beijing will be the company’s largest retailstore in Asia, a senior company official said today.
John Browett, Apple’s senior vice president of retail, said the new store in the Wangfujing shopping district will be the company’s largest store in Asia, with more than 300 employees and a full range of accessories for Apple products.
Browett did not say whether the company will offer the iPhone 5 to the mainland market when the Wangfujing store opens.
The Wangfujing store was open to the media for one hour this morning. The iPhone5 was not ondisplay at the store, although headphones designed for the phone were on display.
Apple is stepping up its efforts to expand its presence in China. Browett said a store in south China’s city of Shenzhen is "just about to open" and "more stores are coming across China."
"We are looking foward to serving every Chinese customer in every city," said Browett. "But that’s going to take us some time."
Smartphones have overtaken desktop computers as the primary means of accessing the Internet for most Chinese, according to data from the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC).
CNNIC data indicates that 388 million Chinese regularly surfed the Internet via their mobilephones as of the end of June.
Apple has 390 retail stores around the world. The Wangfujing store is its third in Beijing and sixth on the Chinese mainland.