Apple aims to open more flagship stores in China
Chinese officials have confirmed that Apple is looking to open new stores in Chengdu and Shenzhen, the home town of Apple's major manufacturing partner, Foxconn. Apple only has to get an environmental permit before having final approval for the Shenzhen store, while the Chengdu location has been approved since late May. As is, Apple has three stores in Shanghai and two in Beijing, both of which you might recall seeing swarmed during the local iPhone 4S launch.
It's pretty ballsy of Apple to be trying to open up shop in Shenzhen since that is precisely where Proview is suing them for infringing on the iPad trademark. In fact, Proview's lawyer said that they would seek a sales injunction if Apple successfully opened a new store in the city. Of course, negotiations are underway which could render that an empty threat.
Needless to say, China is a huge market for iOS, and given the population density, I'm sure they're having trouble keeping up with demand. I'd love to see if the new locations will be as flashy as the Shanghai store pictured above, but something tells me that being really ostentatious might be a little demoralizing for the Foxconn people who pop in to the store to check out the products they make but can't afford to own.