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Old November 28th, 2003, 09:07 PM   #1
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Tokyo Apple Store Opens Tomorrow

A new 5-story Apple store will open tomorrow here in Tokyo in a district called "the Ginza." For those of you that have never heard of it, the Ginza is THE Rodeo Drive of the world...swank and super expensive. To buy a 5-story building there is probably the equivalent of buying...oh, say downtown Cleveland.

That says a lot for Apple's commitment to bolstering its overseas presence. It'll be interesting to see if and how much it increases Apple's sales in Japan.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 09:45 PM   #2
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Ooooh.

Here's the Apple page on the new Ginza store.
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Old November 28th, 2003, 10:31 PM   #3
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Correction: "4-story building"...so that would be like buying downtown Des Moines, I guess. ;)

Thanks for the link, Ken.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 02:04 AM   #4
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Ooooh (2).

Hai!
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Old November 29th, 2003, 02:13 AM   #5
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IT'S OPEN NOW?!

(Sound of rushing wind as a trail of desktop papers swirls toward the closing door)
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Old November 29th, 2003, 02:46 AM   #6
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I hope the Mac is more popular over there than the Xbox. What works in the US doesn't always work in Japan. How big is this 5 story building? I have a hard time believing Apple has anough product to fill it all. The Apple Stores I've been into are mostly hardwood floor and seem pretty barren... only 1 level! :)
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Old November 29th, 2003, 06:51 AM   #7
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They just opened one in Marlton NJ, just a few miles from my home, so I went to check it out the other day. First time I've been in an Apple Store. It's in a very upscale little shopping center. It's pretty much as you describe Ted, not a lot of stuff there but everything is displayed in a very sexy way. Lots of open space in there, much more than one would normally expect in a store that size. But they did have all the current Macs available along with digital cameras, DV cameras, etc. that you could hook up and play with. One relatively small bookcase with software, a couple other shelves with cables and accessories. There were about 6 salespeople hanging around and only maybe 3 customers. I spent a few bucks on some backup software and screen cleaning cloths. The cash registers are iMacs and the credit card readers have color LCD screens that display OS X style dialog boxes, pretty amusing :-)

I know in the past that Apple has stated the stores are not really expected to make any money, but were primarily a way to put Macs and knowledgeable staff into affluent areas where people could experience them. Same thing for the iTunes store, which evidently doesn't make any money either; it's a vehicle to sell iPods. With Apple's multi-billion dollar cash hoard they can affort such a strategy.

As a long time Apple shareholder I'm down about 20%, but my Microsoft stock is down 30%...
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Old November 29th, 2003, 08:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
I know in the past that Apple has stated the stores are not really expected to make any money, but were primarily a way to put Macs and knowledgeable staff into affluent areas where people could experience them. Same thing for the iTunes store, which evidently doesn't make any money either; it's a vehicle to sell iPods. With Apple's multi-billion dollar cash hoard they can affort such a strategy.
Apple retail made a $1 million dollar profit during the most recent quarter. Total sales (retail units) for the quarter was reported at
$193 million. This is considered very successful considering the expenses involved in starting a retail operation. Ron Johnson, the VP for retail operations has never stated that the retail units would not return a profit.

The iTunes store is operating on a different strategy, but is also expected to return a profit within 2 years.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 02:17 PM   #9
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Hopefully Apple's presence in Tokyo and Osaka will be seen as "koo-ru" (cool) by enough Japanese shoppers to give a push to camcorder manufacturers re compatibility issues. I would like to be able to download occasional mpeg4 files to something other than WMP (wimp?) or some proprietary player, for example. And it's pretty annoying that Panasonic's new credit card size "toy," which records mpeg2 and mpeg4, uses software that is not even QT compatible.
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Old November 29th, 2003, 03:14 PM   #10
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Vaguely related to this... was just reading the current issue of Fortune Magazine which has a review of Dell's new iPod-like device (Dell Unveils Its iPod Kryptonite, by Peter Lewis). They compare it to Bizarro, Lex Luthor's messed up Superman clone, "Coming from the square world of Dell instead of the hip world of Apple, it's bigger, heavier, and clunkier than Apple's sleek, suave, elegant iPod, which arrived on the scene two years ago and quickly became the most popular portable digital music player on our home planet, Earth. Even worse, the Musicmatch-backed Dell Music Store is the clumsy, Bizarro counterpart to Apple's brilliant iTunes Music Store."

He continues: "Bizarro, the pathetic wretch, was driven mad by constant comparisons with the handsome, smart, and sexy Superman he was meant to emulate. So too must the DJ suffer from inevitable comparisons with the iPod, with its two-year headstart. If the iPod did not exist, the DJ might even lay claim to the title of Best Portable Music Player Since the Sony Walkman.

But the iPod does exist, and so do Apple iTunes and the Apple iTunes Music Store, and thus the Dell DJ is doomed to be merely the second-best player on the market.

In other words, we must praise the DJ with faint damns."

Later in the review the author writes: "Musicmatch is my favorite Windows-based online music service. That's like saying a prostate exam is my favorite invasive procedure."
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Old November 29th, 2003, 03:57 PM   #11
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I know we're veering slightly off-topic here, but Boyd's remarks prompted me to chime-in on the iPod, iTunes and the Apple music store. The integration of these three is so marvelously, and devilishly, seamless and seductive there should be warning posted somewhere. I am not a music-driven animal. Silence is gerally my favorite tune. But I do have an iPod and listen to music and other material a few times per week.

Until a few weeks ago I had not ventured forth from iTunes into the Apple music store. But momentary boredom prompted me to explore it one day. Over an hour later I stuporifically emerged from the Apple music store as if dumped at my door by a kidnapper, perhaps $30 poorer as the result of my iPod and iTunes banks being swollen by several classical and oldies albums. I've not returned lately because I'm still trying to figure out what happened to me.

It's a cool, albeit impoverishing, experience.
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Old November 30th, 2003, 06:11 PM   #12
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I would be angry paying for compressed sound files. Bleh.
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Old November 30th, 2003, 07:36 PM   #13
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Update: I haven't gotten in yet. Went by Saturday and Sunday and each day there was a 300 meter long waiting line...with a little guy in uniform at the end of the line holding a sign that read "Tail End." (I asked him if he's marking the end of the line, or if he just has a poor self-image).

When the wait to get in is less than an hour, I'll let you guys know.
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Old December 1st, 2003, 05:45 AM   #14
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Finally got in today. It was nice to see a few new things, but overall no surprises.

As for the "Genius Bar"...I hit them with a few questions, and all I can say is, if they're "Mac geniuses", then Jeff, Ken, Don and all the other Mac people here at DVInfo.net qualify as "Mac Omnipotent Beings."
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Old December 1st, 2003, 12:50 PM   #15
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Next time I'm up in Tokyo I'll stop in there. I doubt they would make an Apple store down here in Osaka, the most we have is an Apple floor at Sofmap.

Macs are pretty popular here in Japan, all my friends use Macs, even my upstairs neighbor became a switcher. The wedding hall I shoot video for has 4 iMacs in their office, and I've seen several computer schools that use only Macs, even all the Kinkos have G4's that you can use. BTW John, Rob actually got hired to work at the Ginza Apple Store but he found another job that he can do video editing/shooting at so he didn't take the Apple job. I'm sure he knows more than all the Ginza employees put together.
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