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Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Wheels in motion for first Australian Apple stores

More than two years after conception, Apple is reported to have finally got the ball rolling on a series of retail stores destined for the land of Oz.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Cupertino-based Mac maker is putting the finishing touches on a plan to build its first official retail outlets in Australia, with at least one set for Sydney.

"We have submitted concepts for the store we'd like to build in Sydney and are working with the city to gain their approval," Apple spokesman John Marx told the paper.

It is not clear where Apple's Sydney store would be located, according to the Herald, but a report in a Melbourne newspaper on Tuesday said Apple had leased space in a "multi-level retail centre being developed at a former Westpac site on the corner of George and King streets".

A storefront in the city of Melbourne is likely to follow, according to the report.

The findings echo those of a January 2005 AppleInsider report, which similarly pegged Apple's initial foray into the Australian retail scene to begin with a location in Sydney, followed by one in Melbourne.

In recent years, Apple retail presence in Australia has been buoyed through partnerships with David Jones andMyer retail stores.