The inaugural Apple Store is located in Taipei 101, a landmark skyscraper in Taipei, and it is staffed with an initial workforce of 130 employees, Apple said. Doors in Taiwan opened at 11am local time on Saturday, but eager fans had queued for as long as 68 hours in some cases, Focus Taiwan reports.
Beyond selling products and offering repairs, the Apple Taipei 101 store is aimed at being a place for community and learning. Apple said it will offer visitors access to its ‘Today at Apple’ programs that cover topics like photography and video, art, design, music and coding.
Like in other parts of Asia, Apple customers in Taiwan had until now had to rely on Apple’s website or third-party resellers to buy products and handle repair options. That’s despite the fact that many of Apple’s key manufacturing partners, including Foxconn, are headquartered in Taiwan but operate their factories in China.
Exact numbers aren’t clear, but Apple is consistently among the top five smartphone sellers in Taiwan with upwards of 15 percent marketshare, although that spikes significantly around new device launches.
This Taiwan launch comes hot on the heels of the opening of Apple’s first retail store in Singapore, and the announcement of plans for an Apple Store in Korea. The company is also working to expand its stores to India. Apple, which has already begun assembling some devices in the country, said it recently held “constructive” dialogue with government officials on the topic.