Apple’s retail expansion into South America has been a high priority for the company since CEO Tim Cook ascended to the big chair in August 2011. Taking these aims to the next level, Apple will officially open its flagship retail store in Brazil next Saturday, February 15th.

In the works since late 2012, Apple's first store in the South American nation illustrates once again Apple's increasing focus on the global marketplace. Next weekend's launch is particularly notable in that it represents the company's retail extension into Latin America for the first time.

"We look forward to the opening of the first Apple Store in Brazil, where we have longstanding customers and hope to win many more every day," Apple previously announced. "We cannot wait to offer the unique Apple retail experience to the people of Rio de Janeiro and customers from across the entire region."

Although the resounding majority of Apple Stores are located across North America and Europe, the company's shift toward emerging markets in South America, Asia, and the Middle East could change this dynamic significantly in the coming years.

Source: CNET