eXtensions Diary

Bangkok Diary Friday 27 March 2009: Second Apple iStudio Store Opens in Siam Discovery Center, Bangkok



I took a trip into central Bangkok today (Friday) to keep the weekend free, particularly with regard to the Australian GP in Melbourne which runs in the middle of the day on Sunday, Thai time, with practice around the same time on Saturday. In Siam Discovery Centre, I was surprised to see a lot of activity in the new iStudio shop. It was being readied for a 3pm opening.

The store, run by Copperwired, will be directly competing with the other iStudio store a few yards away on the same floor. That smaller shop was originally run by Copperwired until they moved to Siam Paragon and it was then taken over by Z29. In the meantime, Copperwired has opened shops in Soi Thonglor, Paragon and Central World, which was refurbished and enlarged a couple of months ago. Copperwired is also soon to have another outlet in the redeveloped Siam Square.

The new store in Siam Discovery, as may be seen from the few pictures I was able to take is relatively spacious. As a part of the interest, in charge at the store, at least for the foreseeable future, is Pornthep who has excellent English and has been a patient help for many westerners who have visited the shops. He has been at Thonglor for a while now and their loss is Siam Discovery's gain.

The floor area is loosely split into three areas: computers, iPods and accessories. There will also be a small section, by the large front window for iPhone displays: potential customers will be able to try, but buying is through True, the sole company handling the device here.

There are a good number of notebook computers and iMacs, although there was no MacPro. As some display space was free, and the other stores all have these up and running with Cinema Displays, they are probably due soon.

The displays of computers and iPods encourage hands-on use which the iStudio franchise has brought Bangkok: a few years ago, computer shops of all flavours were reluctant to let prospective purchasers try things out. In the iStudio branches there are always plenty of staff to assist and advise, as well as to keep an eye on things. These guys started filling up the store around 1pm, to get ready for doors open at 3pm.

While handling the products is free and easy, the devices are securely tied down, alarmed and need deactivating when purchased otherwise you will not get them past the doors.

Towards the rear of the shop is a service counter where customers can pay and ask for help. This new store is more than twice the size of the nearby iStudio store, and there is plenty of room for customers to move about, although it does not have the neat demonstration area that the Central World branch now has.

This now increases the the number of iStudio branches in the Siam area and immediate surroundings (including Phantip Plaza) to 7 with more on the way.

I took a number of photographs of the store as it was being set-up and these are available as thumbnails and larger images.



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