CHONGQING - Apple opened a new store in Chongqing municipality in Southwest China on Saturday, bringing the number of Apple stores in the Chinese mainland to 11.

Another Apple store is expected to be opened on Aug 2 in Wuxi city in East China's Jiangxu province, about a one-hour drive from Shanghai.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year the company will open more than 25 stores in China in the future.

Although Apple declined to disclose future plans, its Chinese website lists job opportunities in Apple stores in 16 provinces and municipalities in China, including East China's Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces, as well as Guizhou in Southwest China. Among the listed locations, only Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Sichuan, and Chongqing currently have Apple stores.

The store opening followed news on Monday that nearly half of China's population, or 632 million people, are Internet users, while mobile Internet users reached 527 million.

Earlier this month, China's top three telecom operators - China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom -- announced they will cut their marketing budgets, including contract subsidies, by a total of $6.4 billion in the next three years to secure profits.

The decision by the big three was seen as a response to a new taxation policy that took effect June 1. The telecom industry was included in a pilot taxation program to replace business tax with value-added tax (VAT).

An ABI Research report showed that the average subsidy from operators for Samsung handsets is 84 percent and the average iPhone subsidy is 70 percent, meaning most upfront costs for the two brands were covered by operators. In Beijing and Shanghai, telecom operators even paid to advertise these high-end gadgets.

The big three's budget cuts could possibly affect sales of the two brands, according to market observers, and Apple should lower dependence on operators and explore its own marketing channels.

Apple reported its third-quarter revenues this week. The results in China were unexpectedly robust, where iPhone sales increased nearly 50 percent in the second quarter of this year. Cook was quoted as saying, "China, honestly, was surprising to us," adding that "the unit growth was really off the charts across the board."


重庆北城天街苹果零售店已在今天早上 10 点正式开业,而整整一周之后的这个时间点,我们将会看到无锡新店的开业,这是我们首次看到苹果连续两周在中国大陆开设零售店。威锋网此前已经为大家预告过无锡新店的开业消息,这家店位于江苏省无锡恒隆广场,具体地址为无锡市崇安区人民中路 139 号。

重庆北店和无锡店确认开业之后,目前苹果在官网上列出的待开业零售店分别位于郑州、重庆中环、天津、重庆南、沈阳、杭州中环、杭州东以及成都东。假如这些店都能够在今年顺利开业,意味着中国大陆的苹果零售店总数将会在 2015 年到来之前达到 20 家。值得一提的是,目前国内的四大直辖市都已经确认拥有或即将拥有苹果零售店。

苹果新任零售高级副总裁安吉拉·阿伦德茨(Angela Ahrendts)不久前曾表示,中国地区的零售业务是她上任之后的最重要未来规划之一,她的话并没有白说。按照这样的发展,2014 年或将成为苹果零售店在中国地区开业数量最多的年份。除了苹果在官网列出的官方信息之外,还有消息称广州、南京等地也将会拥有自己的苹果零售店。