It’s official. Apple has just announced the very first Hong Kong Apple store will be opening on this coming Saturday (September 24th). There will be a grand opening ceremony at 9am morning, and all preparation are ready. We will have more pictures and coverage in this post. Stay tuned for more updates!
FINAL UPDATE: We are LIVE at HK Apple store, about 8 hours remaining before the opening. At the moment, there are about 100 customer queue up for the new store, and more fans and crowd are rolling in. Apple has increased the special souvenir t-shirt to 5,000 set, a free gift for those first day customer. CEO Tim Cook will properly not be present at the opening ceremony. Some Apple employees and management staff were still busy doing their preparation. Local press and TV crew were doing their spot coverage. We found that everyone were so excited about the first Hong Kong Apple store, lots of HK people treat it as a ‘pilgrimage’ tour! We have the final update for this post, thanks everyone for joining us. You can proceed to our live blogging post on HK Apple store opening for more coverage!
UPDATE 5: Rumors say that CEO Tim Cook will be coming for the opening ceremony on this Saturday. Today, Apple has invited the local press, employees’ family, authorized reseller and some VIP guest to visit the new store before the official opening. The Apple fans will start to queue up tonight, 36 hours before the grand opening. They are going for the special opening gift for the early customers. We are told by the Apple employee, there will be 3000 T-shirts to give away. At the moment, the Hong Kong people are getting very, very and very excited about the new Apple store in town!
According to local Hong Kong media reports, this will be Apple’s most expensive store to date, spanning 20,000 square feet and two floors in a posh Hong Kong shopping mall, and it costs $20 million to build. The store counts as China’s sixth Apple Store, after two in Beijing and three in Shanghai. Yes, Shanghai will have three Apple store before HK store grand opening, their third store will be first to open this coming Friday (September 23th). However unlike on mainland China, consumers in Hong Kong do not have to pay a value-added tax (sales tax); in China, the sales tax on Apple products is a whopping 20 percent!
On the opening day, rumor said that Apple will be giving away souvenir t-shirt for the early bird customers, and local Apple fans are preparing to queue overnight, as a ‘pilgrimage’ tour. There won’t be a 3 days celebration as we previously reported, but the HK store is certainly the 100th retail branch outside the U.S.. On the following Sunday (September 25th), Apple HK has a series of workshops, including OS X Lion tutorials, workshops on Garage Band, iTunes, and iPhoto etc. On the hardware front, there’ll be introductions on the iPad, iPhone and iPod, to help new customer getting started. Another localization effort at the Apple HK store includes guest celebrities from across Asia who will be visiting the store in October, to share their experience on Apple’s product.
Just coincidence, if you are touring in Hong Kong this week, feel free to pay a visit to the first Apple store in town! (by MTR subway, at ‘Hong Kong’ station).