Ap­ple opens first store in Tai­wan

Kuwait Times - - TECHNOLOGY -

Ap­ple opened its first store in Tai­wan yes­ter­day with more than a thou­sand shop­pers flock­ing to the site lo­cated in the is­land’s land­mark sky­scraper and tallest build­ing, Taipei 101. The launch comes just weeks af­ter the US tech gi­ant un­veiled a Sin­ga­pore branch-its first in South­east Asia-which it ex­pects to be among the most pop­u­lar Ap­ple stores in the world. “This is an in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant re­gion for Ap­ple,” the com­pany said in a state­ment.

Ex­cited fans in Tai­wan thronged upon the new store with its iconic glass fa­cade and more than 100 iPhones, iPads, Macs, Ap­ple Watches and iPods laid out for cus­tomers to try. They were greeted by cheer­ing and ap­plaud­ing staff who chanted “wel­come” and “Ap­ple Tai­wan”, In a bid to tap into Tai­wanese cul­ture, the com­pany also handed out red T-shirts with a Banyan Tree print in­spired by art­work from lo­cal pa­per cut­ting ex­pert Yang Shi-yi.

Near the store en­trance a big-screen im­age of Yang’s work loomed over wooden chairs to repli­cate the tra­di­tional Tai­wanese cus­tom of meet­ing un­der a Banyan tree. “It’s a pretty unique de­sign for a store, and I like that they have a place like that for peo­ple to meet,” said 28-year-old Amer­i­can tourist Steve Burt, who queued for more than a day to be the first in line to en­ter the store. Ap­ple cel­e­brated its 40th an­niver­sary last year.

Most of its earn­ings come from the iPhone, which faces in­creas­ingly tough com­pe­ti­tion in a sat­u­rated mar­ket. “I am re­ally glad that there is fi­nally an Ap­ple Store in Tai­wan so I don’t have to send my iPhone to an­other coun­try for re­pair,” said 19-year-old col­lege stu­dent Shih Feng, who also camped overnight for yes­ter­day’s open­ing. Ap­ple has al­most 500 stores glob­ally with more than a mil­lion vis­i­tors daily. Else­where in Asia it has stores in Hong Kong, China, Ja­pan and Sin­ga­pore.—AFP

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