MANILA, Philippines — The likelihood of Apple opening an official retail presence in the Philippines may not be soon in the offing, at least according to one of the technology giant’s local partners here.
During a recent event organized by Power Mac Center to launch its corporate solutions for Apple users, an executive of the reseller dismissed the Apple Store rumors, saying Apple would most likely open in other territories first before having official retail presence in the Philippines.
“We don’t think so,” said Joey Alvarez, marketing manager at Apple reseller Power Mac Center, when asked about the speculations of an Apple Store in the Philippines going around online. “Singapore doesn’t have an Apple Store yet, as well as Malaysia, Indonesia. It’s only Hong Kong right now.”
Power Mac Center is one of the biggest Apple resellers in the country with a 15-store branch network nationwide. Aside from selling Apple and Apple-compatible products, they also offer after-sales services and training to customers.
Should an official retail presence be established by Apple here, resellers such as Power Mac Center could easily be dwarfed by the resources and products typically carried by the technology giant in its stores, potentially eroding their revenues.
Speculations are also rife about a possible Apple Store in Indonesia due to recent job postings announced on Apple’s official website.
Asked about the veracity of these rumors, a regional public relations manager of the secretive technology company merely said: “We have made no announcements.”
Currently, Apple has official retail presence in Asia Pacific in Australia, China, and most recently, Hong Kong.
What Power Mac Center’s Alvarez confirmed, however, are ongoing talks with Apple to offer iTunes gift cards through their stores following the recent opening of the iTunes Store in the Philippines.
“Yes, we’re talking with them about that but nothing is final yet. We’re still waiting for them,” the executive said.
Alvarez, however, stressed that his statements were merely his personal opinion about the matter, and do not have any bearing on Apple’s plans in the Philippines. “[The statements] do not reflect Apple’s market options,” he clarified.
iTunes gift cards are digital currencies which users can buy at a retail store and use for downloading digital content at the iTunes Store in lieu of a credit card.
Since not many Filipinos are credit card holders, gift cards will be a surefire way of promoting digital downloads of MP3s and movies in the recently opened store.
Aside from the Philippines, the iTunes Store also opened this week in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.