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Apple Opens First Physical Store In South America To Thousands Of Supporters

Posted by zduncan | Posted in Apple News And Rumors, News | Posted on 17-02-2014

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Whether you are crazy about Apple’s products or not I think there is one thing we can all agree on and that’s the fact that Apple’s physical stores are pretty cool. Not only are they bright, inviting and slightly futuristic looking but they also allow you to literally pick up and play with every single device that Apple currently has on the market. Plus they also allow you to bring in your Apple products for repair, allowing you to get them fixed by true Apple professionals.

So that is why it is no surprise that over a thousand people showed up to the grand opening of the very first Apple store in South America. Over 1,700 people came to the Village Mall in Rio de Janeiro’s famous Barra de Tijuca neighborhood this past weekend to check out Apple’s first physical venture in the country.

You would have thought it was Black Friday in Rio as potential customers started standing in line on Friday. Around 163 people stayed overnight for a chance to be one of the very first customers through the doors when they opened on Saturday morning.

According to the local Brazilian newspaper the Globe, Apple had anticipated as many as 1,500 people to attend the store’s grand opening with the company being more than overjoyed when that number was easily surpassed by the eager Apple junkies. Apple’s own CEO Tim Cook even took to Apple’s Twitter feed to show his appreciation for the country’s support and to those who visited, which is the first time Cook has done something like this for a store opening.

The picture (seen below) was accompanied by the text “‘Obrigado’ to everyone who visited our new store in Rio de Janeiro today and to our terrific customers across Brazil!” For those of you who don’t speak the language, “Obrigado” is Portuguese for “thank you”.

South American Apple Store

South America, with special attention on Brazil, is becoming a very important market for Apple as the company seeks to expand beyond traditional markets in the United States and Western Europe. Brazil is home to a very large population that has a fast-growing economy along with an expanding middle class.

While the out pour of support for this Apple store in Brazil is definitely a great start for Apple in the country, the company still has some hurdles to overcome. Brazil has some of the highest import taxes around, meaning Apple’s products almost twice as much as they do in the United States. Apple has, however, started manufacturing some devices in Brazil, perhaps as a way make some products more affordable for Brazilian natives.

The future for Apple in Brazil is still unclear, though if this showing of support for the first retail store in the country is any inclination then Apple could very well have stepped into a very lucrative market. The next best thing for Apple to do now is to find a way to make products cheaper, or at least comparable, for South American consumers.

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