Apple Inc will open two directly-operated retail stores in Shanghai - for the first time - this year, including one in the city's tallest building, Shanghai Daily learned yesterday.
Apple's decision to open the stores to penetrate the local market was confirmed to the newspaper by Huang Yuna, a spokesperson for Apple China.
"One store will open as early as spring," said Huang, who declined to reveal more details such as the locations and size of the stores.
One difference between the Apple-owned stores and those selling Apple products is that consumers can receive free one-to-one training and technical support, according to the technology giant.
One of the Apple stores will be located in the Shanghai World Financial Center in Lujiazui area in Pudong New Area.
The other Apple store will be in Huaihai Road M., sources in the property market told Shanghai Daily.
The expansion of retail firms, including Apple, will help boost the local real estate market, especially in the commercial property sector, said a retail source who declined to be identified.
The new stores will help Apple to penetrate the Chinese market, the No. 1 for phones globally and the No. 2 for personal computers worldwide, analysts said.
Apple already has a store on the Chinese mainland when it opened an outlet in Sanlitun in Beijing last year. It plans to open a second directly-operated store in the capital this year.
Apple debuted its iPhone in China last year in a tie-up with China Unicom, the country's No. 2 mobile phone operator.