Fellow readers, not to leave the new flagship opening up in Hong Kong without some news, we have even more juicy exclusive info for you. Everything from training, to the festivities being planned for such an important store. Want to know more? Read on ~
As per our previous story, “Exclusive Update on New Apple Stores in China and Hong Kong“, our Apple specialists have teamed up with myself and we have some important updates for you about the Hong Kong Apple store.
First, the Apple mentors that came to Hong Kong for the training of the new store, they have gone home as of the 14th of August. This means that they now go through Apple “Core” training and do specialized training if they are technical support or management. We previously covered the “Market Core” book here in this story. We also have gotten our hands on something else from the Hong Kong training, but we will update that in another story.
So, the Apple store in Hong Kong is very special. It will be a flagship, but it isn’t just that simple. It is also the most expensive apple store to date, We dug deep for information, and found through our contacts (thanks!) that this will be the 100th overseas store. Can you believe that? The people of Hong Kong get the honor and prestige of having the 100th Apple store outside of the United States. We can say, being at every Chinese store opening so far we are extremely excited.
But it does not end there. Apple is holding a 3 day opening bonanza. It will be a three day party to celebrate this momentous event in Apple history. We have no details on what will happen exactly, but we will keep you posted on that. Maybe Steve Jobs will make an appearance?
Not all is good news however. 9to5mac previously reported the store would be opening on the 24th of Sept. We can most certainly tell you, and we have verified from two sources independent of each other, that this is only half true.
Apple will have stock in place by the latest at the 24th of September. However, as Apple wishes this store to be perfect for the historic occasion, and the fact that training has gone much slower than anticipated we have been told that it could be delayed as far back as early October. Even at the earnings call, the company said the store would open this quarter, so when we found out, we were needless to say quite disappointed. We are hoping that everything stays on track.
However, we believe that based on the photo gallery below, and a video of the interior of the store in construction which shows it is not complete yet.
Engadget’s Richard Lai also got some pics inside the store.
Notice how you can see the lights but not much else going on inside. We did notice the boxes with the Made-in Germany glass as well. That would most likely be the glass for the front of the store. And below is what we managed to capture at a glance.
Typically Apple stores get completed then roll the equipment in for a one month configuration and connection to the Apple intranet. This means setting subnets for the network, connecting the fibre lines and making sure everything from the personal training to the genius bar repair system is working.
Several workers can be seen walking in-and-out of the store.
You may take a peek at the inside of the store from the front doors when there’s no one around.
On the exterior of the store, there are now new barriers to prevent people going inside and taking photos. We also had something quite unexpected happen.
We took a picture of these gentlemen standing outside after they came out of the store under construction. The Market director for Apple in mainland China has paid visits to the store in the past, but this is the first time we actually were able to get him identified by one of our contacts. He is the one facing us on the left side in jeans and black. Hong Kong tech site Unwire.hk has managed to take a clearer shot of him in the construction site.
Taking shots inside the IFC mall is pretty difficult, since there are securities guarding the front doors of the store. So, we took some pictures from the outside, and we can slightly see what the workers are doing inside the store.
We can only see the light ceiling. Nothing else special.
And we also see workers outside the store.
Curtains are used to cover the store, preventing photographers to use super tele lens to take shots of the inside look.
The glass panes look pretty cool.
Conclusion? Hong Kong is considered by Apple to be a separate market all together from mainland China. It shows just how important this store is to Apple. You can read our previous coverage on the Hong Kong Apple store to know more about how the store works when it is opened. So, this shows the store is getting closer, we cant wait!
More Coverage: Unwire.hk
PS: Special shout out to one of my favorite fans. Mark Gurman, may your jokes and wisecracks never end -SL
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