Monday, October 15, 2012, 10:17 pm PT (01:17 am ET)
Apple's third Beijing store to be largest in Asia, opening this weekIt was discovered on Monday that Apple will be opening the doors to its third brick-and-mortar retail outlet in Beijing, China on Oct. 20, possibly just ahead of official iPhone 5 sales in the country.
Wangfujing Apple Store announcement. | Source: Apple
Apple announced through its Chinese website that the newest Beijing Apple Store will be the company's largest retail outlet in Asia, and will be located within the historic Wangfujing Street mall.
As noted by MIC Gadget, Apple's new Asian flagship outlet will sit between the country's first Apple Store in Sanlitun and the Xidan Joy City location near Tiananmen Square, which are about three and a half miles apart. Expected to be positioned on the corner of a large department store, the Wangfujing Apple Store will boast the typical all-glass facade and could take up four stories of retail space.
According to Apple's dedicated Wangfujing webpage, in-store classes are scheduled to begin on Oct. 21, the day after opening. While there is no mention of an iPhone 5 event, the iPhone 4S introductory session already has a waiting list, but as of this writing, reservations remain for iPad, iPod and iTunes, App Store and Mac activities.
Construction of Apple's Wangfujing location. | Source: MIC Gadget
The publication speculates that the store's grand opening could coincide with the Chinese launch of Apple's iPhone 5, however the company has yet officially announce a release date for the world's largest wireless market.
Apple's sixth-generation handset supports a slew of 4G LTE bandwidths and is being sold in three different variants to accomodate the various networks maintained by partner carriers. In China, China Telecom and China Unicom both have standing deals with Apple which are expected to contribute greatly to the Cupertino company's bottom line, but rumors abound as to whether China Mobile, the world's largest wireless provider, will be offering the handset at launch.
Apple's Wangfujing store will likely help ease the crush of traffic associated with a major product launch like the new iPhone 5, however it remains to be seen if the huge location will be enough to sate the usually rowdy masses.
When the iPhone 4S launched last year, crowds became unruly as supply dwindled, forcing Apple to postpone the device's launch, while the iPhone 4 release caused a scuffle in which a store window was broken.
In Hong Kong, "iPhone 5 fever" has kept stock in short supply, possibly heralding a massive demand from consumers in mainland China.
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