The first video and images from inside Saturday's grand opening of Apple's flagship store in Shanghai are getting lots of attention today - a lot of envious attention, that is, as many Apple fans are finding themselves wondering why the Apple store in their local shopping mall couldn't be this ornate. Despite that Saturday's epic storefront unveiling was all about the building itself and not actually any iDevices like the iPhone 4, you wouldn't know the difference based on the public turnout.
Hundreds of local Chinese Apple fans and onlookers surrounded the spectacle, although hopes quickly faded that Steve Jobs would be on hand for a surprise appearance. At least one prominent Apple executive, however, was in Shanghai. Calling it the "perfect store," Apple VP Ron Johnson looked about as excited as anyone has ever seen him at the big reveal of the Shanghai facility. In recent weeks, while the exact look of the store was quite literally kept under wraps, talk has emerged that Apple may continue building future retail outlets with a similarly palatial design.
The second half of 2010 will usher in the beginning of an Apple retail store explosion across the globe, but nowhere more pronounced than in China. With plans to build at least one additional Apple store per month for the next twenty-four months in China, Apple and its retail design team are no doubt taking serious consideration of the elaborate structure in Shanghai and wondering if similar structures are practical elsewhere - although its unlikely that our shopping mall Apple storefronts will be renovated into a glass palace just because of all the attention Shanghai's flagship is getting this weekend.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
The building is made entirely of glass, similar to Apple’s flagship New York City store on Fifth Avenue. It has a glass cube entrance that leads customers underground to a space covering some 1,500 square meters, bigger than Apple’s first store in Beijing, which opened two years ago.
Images via M.I.C. Gadget
The Wall Street Journal