Apple Reportedly Preparing to Open First Retail Store in South Korea
Apple is currently looking for potential sites in South Korea as it plans to open one of its flagship stores right in Samsung’s “backyard”, reports the Wall Street Journal. The iPhone maker has allegedly looked at sites just across the street from its most fierce rival’s (and supplier’s) headquarters.
According to the WSJ, Apple has sent retail executives to South Korea with the purpose of identifying potential sites for the upcoming Apple Store, which could be opened in about a year.
Citing local media reports, ZDNet says Apple has already signed three long-term land-lease contracts in Garosu Road, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam District in Seoul for the upcoming retail store(s).
According to the South Korean media, ChosunBiz, Apple signed the contract at the end of February this year, and the lease will last from March 1, 2016, to February 29, 2036.
The report also says Apple will build a two- or three-story retail store there, but it doesn’t mention the start date of the planned construction.
The South Korean market is currently dominated by Samsung and LG, which together control about 80% of the smartphone market. The launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have helped Apple double its market share in Samsung’s home country, but since then its share has dropped below 10%, according to market research firm Strategy Analytics.