According to a source, the regional Apple office has finally realized that their sales volume in the Philippines is already huge that it warrants they put up a physical store in the country. Yes, definitely a physical store that will compete with the premium resellers.
I am told that Apple has hired 3 new senior executives based in the Philippines to help over-see this expansion. There’s already a core team in the country for a couple of years now but they’re mostly here to interact with dealers and resellers.
This isn’t the first time that a supposed Apple Store will be built in Manila. Back in 2009, the company CB Engineers designed this project in Fort Bonifacio:
CB Engineers was selected by the Ayala Development Group to provide consulting services as the sustainability consultant and commissioning agent for the new Philippine Stock Exchange Office Building.
The project is a new 650,000-sq.ft. high rise office tower complex located in Bonifacio Global City, a business district of Metro Manila in the Philippines. The project is named for its anchor tenant the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) although the PSE will be occupying only about 108,000 sf or 15% of the total projected floor area. The project is being designed as a LEED Gold, Class A office space (referred to as Triple A Office Space in Manila) and will seek high profile tenants such as headquarters of large multinationals, with the retail section housing the Apple Store, Manila as the anchor tenant.
To match the projects ambitious design goals, the Ownership Group has insisted on retaining a world class design team which includes Skidmore Owings & Merrill, SOM; EDAW and CB Engineers along with qualified local architects and engineers as the designers or record.
In April 2012, the PSE Board approved the relocation of its unified trading floor and corporate headquarters to Bonifacio Global City under a revised property deal with Ayala Land Inc. The area is around the BGC’s West Super Block.
If this project will happen, and it surely will, Apple will have its own footprint in the Philippines. An official Apple Store that people will certainly flock to when they want to buy anything Apple — iPhone, iPad and Mac.
With this development, the Apple Premium Resellers might get less attention from Apple fans. Once you have the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, that’s the only place you’d want to go to if you have to get your iDevices fixed or replaced. And of course, if you want to buy Apple, you’d more likely to get it from the real Apple Store. (Oh, I can see the really long lines now.)
The leaves the resellers with? Fewer customers to service. They won’t go away but they might need to expand their catering beyond Apple products to sustain or maybe extend store hours to like 24/7.
In the end, this is definitely good news to consumers and Apple fan boys out there.