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Notes: mini stores, iPod mini, Paris expo, iMac G5

Apple Retail mini stores manager sharing

A few additional details are starting to emerge surrounding Apple's unannounced, but confirmed, "mini store" plans.

As previously reported, the company is already in the process of renovating three Apple mini store locations, which range in size from 1,500 to 2,000 square-feet. At less than half the size of the average Apple retail store, these shopping center boutiques will likely focus on smaller items and support, such as iPods, laptops, accessories, and software.

Over the next several months, Apple is expected to launch mini retail stores in the Santa Rosa Plaza in Northern California (1,500 square-feet), the Bridgewater Commons Mall in New Jersey, and the Stanford Shopping Center in Northern California (1,800 square-feet).

Some of the stores, according to sources, will be overseen by managers from nearby full-sized Apple retail stores. This would most likely hand-off day-to-day operations to the assistant manager.

All three of the recently discovered mini store locations are within reasonable driving distance to an already established Apple retail store.

Data reveals iPod mini flavor appeal

Overseas, the first of the iPod minis are on their way to countries in Europe and Asia as the highly anticipated international launch of the player lay less than 48 hours away.

Believe it or not, the recently reaffirmed July 24th international availability date for the iPod mini has also done its part to further increase the demand for the mini players in the US.

According to reliable Apple data, this past weekend saw a surge in demand for iPod minis, lead by requests for silver units--by far the most popular mini flavor in the country.

Don't worry ladies, the pink iPod mini remains the second most popular mini and is closely followed by demand for blue iPods. Meanwhile, the green and gold flavored players are in a dead-heat for the least popular mini, if you could call any variant of the iPod mini "unpopular."

Apple Expo Paris pre-reg

So will we really see the new iMac G5 next month at Apple Expo Paris? Expo faithful seem to think so. According to MacBidouille, Apple Expo Pre-registrations have exceed the 50,000 mark, and continue to climb. For comparison, this month's Macworld Expo in Boston was rumored to have attracted around 10,000 show-goers.

Apple Expo Paris will kick off during the final week of August.

iMac G5 Update

Quanta Computer, the company Apple uses to subcontract its iMac manufacturing, is unlikely to achieve its goal of shipping three million notebooks in the third quarter, due to lower-than-expected notebook shipments in June and reduced orders for the Apple iMac, company sources said last week.

Apple has yet to begin production of the iMac G5, but sources say that the company will soon deploy engineers to China to oversee the start of production, which should take a week or so to fine-tune.