Apple Retail Stores Headed for Taiwan

Good news for Taiwan Macheads:

The 7-11/ iPod mini thing seems like a good idea…but why sell only silver? And which will sell more in Taiwan…the green or the blue mini?

They’re not opening Apple Stores but Blue Apple, which are Apple-branded. Management is, however, local from the company’s distributor Unitech. Apple and Unitech have previously opened five locations.

The first of three stores has already opened in Gongguan at the intersection of Roosevelt and Jilong Roads. This is being called a flagship store, but is nevertheless quite small.

iPod minis

That makes more sense, especially seeing that Apple hasn’t even fully exploited the retail scene in Japan yet with full-blown “Apple Stores”(One shop in Ginza, one on the way for Osaka). It sounds more like what Apple has done in Korea, by adding another “flavor” of stores to compete with existing Apple Centres.

How do you think existing Apple Centres will deal with this competition in Taiwan?

Ah,… maybe there’ll be some competition finally. I know a few good Apple retail people here in Taiwan, but for the most part, there is no passion in Apple retailing in the Taipei area. Every time I’ve gone into a retail establishment, they’ve been extremely unhelpful and disinterested in me as a customer, just sitting back behind the counter and hoping I go away. Sample converstation I had recently (translated into English):

Me: Hi …
Me: Hi (louder)
Some Guy: What do you want?
Me: Do you have the new iPod 20GB models in yet?
Some Guy: No. (then turns away to do something else)
Me: Do you know when you’ll get a shipment?
SG: No.
Me: Have you heard when they will come to Taiwan?
SG: No.
Me: Do you have information?
SG: No.
Me: Can I register for information when a shipment comes in.
SG: We don’t do that.
Me: I see … We’ll, you’ve been very helpful.
SG: (makes grunting sound acknowledging my presence)

I’ve heard soooo many horror stories about the total lack of retail enthusiasm across Asia. I went to four establshments in Singapore. Some were better than others, but on the whole, it took forever to get idle shopkeepers to pay attention to me, and when they did, they were about as enthusiastic as a lamp shade. Another friends told me of how shopkeepers would turn away ready-to-buy customers in the Philippines, just because of the way they represented the product. My friend from India said that he “bought the product despite Apple.”

Hmm… I don’t know if this will help make a dent in the sales though… The attitude of the local sales force has been the very problem that Macs are so rare to see in Taiwan… Apple needs to shake up the distributors locally like they did back in the States… Put real Macheads in charge for a change, maybe…

There’s an Apple Store on Zhongxiao W. Rd. near the train station. Cross the road past the Shingkong building heading west and it’s on the left side of the street. I think people there were helpful enough, and did their best to use English. Also, there’s an Apple kiosk in the Nova building. Those people were also eager to help.

Fantastic! I shall send more businesses to them then… It’s unfortunate not every shop provides that kind of experience… :frowning:

To be fair, Pinesay’s experience is commonplace in any retail setting in Taiwan. You can go anywhere and get treated like shit, not just shops selling Macs.

Retail is about treating strangers with courtesy and respect, and this culture values relationships and face. And, there’s not a lot of face potential when your trade is anonymous walk-ins.

Also, the tendency of people to treat anything construable as a public resource as their own private property to be willfully abused… well… I understand and commiserate to a certain degree with both sides of this one.

Lastly, people’s tendency to make instant judgements based on appearance and then act accordingly (the classic is “he’s foreign he can’t speak Chinese so it’s an impossilibity to communicate”) is very well documented.

Bottom line is that you’re not likely to find the “Apple Store” experience here in Taiwan. Ya, there are exceptions and they’re worth seeking, but don’t get too bent when dealing with the mean.

I agree with you in principle that the experience can be applied to any retail shops in general… but have to disagree with you on its specificity to Mac resellers. The atitude has been more of a “cockiness” than anything else… Anyone think this may have to do w/ the color of one’s skin and the language one speaks when you walk into the shop? (more polite to white as opposed to locals?)… Not to bring up this sort of topic here, but I am just guessing perhaps this is also a factor…

I bought my eMac at Fortress(109 Building nr. 101) after getting the complete runaround at 3C. The didn’t know the difference between and eMac and and iMac :unamused:

The Fortress people were moderately interested in an actual sale unlike the 12-year-old boys manning the FNAC and Eslite Apple kiosks.

Pictures of the new store can be viewed here: … oryid=2032

[quote=“roc”]Pictures of the new store can be viewed here: … oryid=2032[/quote]
Aw man… that’s more like a “mini” Apple Store… not even 1/10th of the size of any stores in the U.S.!!

I think there’s going to be a much bigger one off Zhongxiao E. Road near Guangfu N. Road. Don’t know if it’s open yet.

There are plenty of Apple Resellers around. Most are fairly small. There was a larger one in Easy Mall under Taipei Train Station a few years ago but it closed.

I find that the dis-interested/unhelpful attitude is somewhat prevelant in Taiwan. For stores, if you’re not buying stuff right away, you’re wasting their time. I personally think it’s the lack of Western MBAs and consultants…most Taiwanese think that “cha bu duo” is all the customer wants/needs.

You guys think the popularity of the iPod has somewhat brought consumer attention to Apple’s products overall in Taiwan? Wouldn’t you say that the hit of iPod has probably single-handedly brought Apple back to life in markets where Apple has traditionally not been a strong player?

There’s no face in presenting a positive, helpful attitude. There is face is making sales. Apparently, folks here see the marginal cost of helping a person who might buy, as compared to a person actually buying, as far too high. Further, as previously noted, presenting a positive, helpful demeanor opens oneself up to the ever present “use it til it’s broke” attitude people have.

Whatever… get over it. In my experience, if you want service with your Mac, buy from MacCare. They speak English well enough and are also tolerant of bad Chinese. If you don’t give a rat’s ___________ about service, go to AppleUser,

This brings back bad memories of iPod mini release night at the store I worked at: … 2003182084

Only 100 iPods? Feh!

I read a few months back of an “iPod Bus” that was trolling up and down the country, stopping in various cities along the way to advertise the 3G iPod. A novel idea, but like scchu said, is it doing anything for the overall product?

What do you think it would take for people to use more macs in Taiwan? Aside from a drop in price (like that’ll happen)…most Taiwanese I talked to seem like they’re basing judgements off of friends who used System 7: constant crashes, incompatability, etc. Apple Taiwan really needs to start advertising the Unix side of the OS to the geeks and the usability to the rest of the market. Its not just for graphic designers anymore!

*nix geeks I know can’t say enough good things about OSX (other than the fact that it’s not truly opensource… but I usually tell them to just get over it, since many many opensource apps can be compiled and execucted in OSX very similarly in other *nix flavors).

So here’s a theory I have… I “think” Taiwanese have been way too comfortable with Windows and what it has been (though not as crash prone anymore, but just as virii friendly). Change, to them (us?), is too much hassle to deal with. Most OSX switchers I know, however, will probably never go back to Windows once they know what’s available to them on “the other side”… Similar experience with ppl you guys know?

And also don’t forget the fact that it’s way easier to ur hands on pirated Windows apps then some Macs’ (still true? not sure)…

From my experience, people who buy Macs these days are either graphics designers or enthusiasts. The main problem is that Macs simply cost too much relative to people’s salaries and when compared to PCs in Taiwan. At around 48K NT for a G4 iBook, that’s 1.5 months salary for a college graduate.

Next, the other potential market of *nix geeks is very small, mostly due to a lack of fast Internet and Chinese language packages. If you struggle trying to read the documentation, you’re not going to use it much.

So, unless there’s a major push to come out with some OSX books in Chinese and some major media coverage, it ain’t gonna to happen.

There Chinese language OS X manual I have is translated from Jesse Feiler’s English edition, published by a company called ShangQi. Only covers OS 10.1.5, but its good enough for the basics.

Anyone have a definitive list?