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What's In Store For Apple

Techstination feature for Tuesday, July 2, 2002

What's in store for Apple. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Apple Computer started opening its first retail stores just over a year ago... .and plans to have fifty in operation by the end of this year. They are all laid out the same way... and offer the best consumer experience I've seen in a computer store with lots of try this and try that... a help desk called a Genuis Bar... .and sections devoted to everyday users, pro-sumers and even children. The idea says Apple's senior V.P. for retail Ron Johnson...

"About three to four thousand people a week visit each store. Half of those currently own a Mac and half of those are new to Mac. And as you know, we're about expanding our market share and introducing our products to a lot of people who currently use PCs, Windows operating system PCs."

Getting people to switch is the thrust of Apple's latest ad campaign... (sound) Apple has lots of room for growth... with a market share of just under four percent. And even though the latest flat panel iMacs are the coolest looking computers you can buy... .Apple's sales in the last quarter were below forecasts. But as Johnson points out... Apple has lots of company in that situation...

"It's just a really difficult time for the personal computer in the market place."

And even though the Apple stores themselves are not profitable yet... .

"We are losing a little bit on the stores on a direct basis, but when you look at it from the entire Apple perspective, you know the manufacturing profit we get and what it's doing for the brand, we're really pleased with the results of the stores."

So the expansion will continue. The company's first in New York City opens this month. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.