By Ben Tavener, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Apple has confirmed that it will open its first store in Brazil in Rio de Janeiro. Sources have revealed the Apple Store, Latin America’s first, will be located in the new Village Mall shopping center in Barra da Tijuca, in Rio’s Zona Oeste (West Zone).
The mall itself is set to open its doors on December 3rd, but as yet there is no confirmation whether the Apple Store will be ready to open by that date.
Sources from TechTudo say the shop interior has already been completed and that the opening now depends on staffing the store.
Rumors started surfacing at the beginning of November that Apple was possibly planning to open a number of stores in Brazil, and later this month the company started advertising for positions, ranging from business managers to regional directors.
Apple confirmed the rumors about the Rio store in a short statement to the press: “We look forward to the opening of the first Apple Store in Brazil […]. We cannot wait to offer the unique Apple retail experience to the people of Rio de Janeiro and customers from across the region.”
Brazil enjoys a strong and expanding customer base in Brazil, some of whom travel abroad to get their hands on the latest Apple gadgets to circumvent severely inflated prices in Brazil and the lag the products face before they reach shops in Latin America.
It was also recently confirmed that Apple manufacturer Foxconn will soon begin producing the recently-released iPhone 5 at its plant in Jundiaí in São Paulo state, and may also begin assembling the company’s new iPad models, including the iPad Mini.
However, the Brazil-made products are unlikely to be sold in Brazil before Christmas, sources say, and it is still not clear when the new iPhone 5 will be sold in Brazil, although Brazilian mobile operators are already offering compatible Nano SIM cards.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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