Tuesday, September 10, 2013, 01:19 am PT (04:19 am ET)
Pictures show fourth Shanghai Apple Store being built in high-end shopping complexIt appears that Apple is in the process of building a new two-story Apple Store in Shanghai, the fourth for the city, at a recently opened mega-mall that rents space to luxury retailers like Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and De Beers.
The outlet has yet to be added to Apple's Chinese website, but AppleInsider reader Chris was able to snag a photograph of the work in progress on Tuesday, showing the scale of the project currently underway at the IAPM shopping mall.
According to Sun Hung Kai, the real estate company behind the venture, IAPM's floor space stands at 1.3 million square feet and will feature over 30 shops. Dining, IMAX theaters and a supermarket are also planned for the area.
The shopping complex is attached to the Shanghai International Commerce Centre and Shanghai ICC Residences, both of which have yet to fully open.
With China overtaking the U.S. as Apple's biggest market for smart devices, the company is looking to expand its retail presence in the region, growing beyond established markets like the U.S. and Europe. During Apple's quarterly conference call in July, CEO Tim Cook said China is "a huge opportunity" for the company.
Apple raked in $4.64 billion in revenue from China for the June period, but that number was down 14 percent year-over-year and 43 percent sequentially.
Industry watchers believe Apple is making a direct play for the Chinese market with its anticipated iPhone lineup, which is thought to include a high-end iPhone 5S and a lower cost iPhone 5C. The iPhone 5S, for example, is said to come in a "champagne" color that may be tailored to changing Chinese tastes, while the iPhone 5C is thought to be positioned as a high mid-tier device with a price attractive to average consumers in the country.
Apple will hold a special media event on Tuesday at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, where the company is widely expected to unveil the new iPhone models. Underscoring the importance of the Chinese market, Apple will hold a separate event in Beijing later in the day. The purpose of the satellite event is not entirely clear, though it is possible that a highly anticipated deal with China Mobile could be announced.
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