Apple lifts lid on first Australian retail store

Media get first glimpse of new Apple store

Apple's first Australian retail store, which opens Thursday evening, will be the second largest of its 215 stores across the globe, the company revealed today.

The three-level store is top heavy with glass - 700 square metres of it - giving passers by plenty of opportunity to gaze at the company's products.

"It's one giant window to Apple," said Ron Johnson, Apple's senior vice president of retail. "It is an invitation for people to come in."

The store, which opens at 5pm Thursday, is located on George St in the heart of the Sydney CBD.

The ground floor is equipped with almost 90 Macs, and according to Johnson is the largest number on display in Australia. The second level houses iPods, speakers, its TV set up, iPod accessories and other Apple-related third-party consumer items.

The store's top floor is dedicated to support and professional services like workshops, and Johnson said it is equipped to offer support to 1000 people a day. Part of the top floor also houses the Genius Bar - home to Apple experts in various fields - that is designed to provide answers to technical problems or queries to customers.

All the Macs in the store are connected to broadband and customers can make free use of the Internet.

Apple opened its first store in 2001, the Sydney store is only second largest to the London store located on Regent street. The remaining stores are spread over six countries.

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