Wednesday, August 28, 2013, 09:24 am PT (12:24 pm ET)
Apple plans opening of first new Tokyo retail store since 2005The coming months will see the construction of Apple's first new retail outlet in Japan's capital city of Tokyo in 8 years, according to a new report.
Tokyo's Omotesando shopping district will soon be home to a new Apple retail outlet, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The new store, according to sources familiar with Apple's plans, should be completed by February of 2014.
The new store would be Apple's third in Tokyo, a city of 13.2 million residents, and the eighth retail location in the whole of Japan, a country with 127.8 million people.
The new Tokyo store will reportedly have three levels, including two underground. In total, the new location is said to cover 20,109 square feet, and is said to currently be worth around 16 billion yen ($164 million). The addition of an Apple retail location would raise its worth to about 25 billion yen ($256 million).
On-site construction signs indicate that Jun Mitsui & Associates will handle the design aspect of the new location. That same group designed the De Beers Ginza Building and the New Haneda Airport International Terminal.
The new location could signal a new dedication on the part of Apple to increase sales in Japan. Even as it is in the midst of a long-awaited economic recovery, Japan as a nation remains Apple's fourth-largest source of revenue, behind the Americas, Europe, and Greater China. For the most recent quarter, Apple earned $2.5 billion in Japan, up 27 percent from the same quarter in the year previous.
The next generation of Apple's bestselling smartphone is expected to debut in early September, with a global launch, including the U.S. and Japan, thought to be slated just over a week later, on Sept. 20. This coming generation could see even greater sales for Apple in that country, as rumors abound that Apple may be nearing a deal with NTT DoCoMo to bring the iPhone to Japan's largest wireless carrier.
Wednesday's report from Bloomberg also contained a new claim that the aforementioned Sept. 10 event, which is expected to see the introduction of new iPhones, will also show off new designs for iPads. A September iPad launch has been rumored in the past, but Apple has historically kept its iPhone and iPad announcements separate. Apple is instead expected to introduce new iPads later this fall.
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