Apple's first and only retail store in Singapore opened at the Knightsbridge Mall shopping complex on Orchard Road in 2017. Now, a report says the iPhone maker plans to open two additional stores in the island country later this year.
A render of Jewel Changi Airport
The Straits Times reports that one of Apple's new stores will open at Jewel Changi Airport within Singapore's main airport. The tourist destination, slated to open April 17, will feature more than 280 shops amid a five-story terraced garden with a 40-meter-tall waterfall cascading from a vaulted glass roof.
The other new store is said to open at the Marina Bay Sands resort next to Singapore's central business district. The dome-shaped store will be situated over water, connected to the luxurious resort with a walkway nestled amid palm trees. The site was previously occupied by night club Avalon.
An aerial view of Marina Bay Sands via Wayfarer, highlighted with reported location of Apple's new store
Apple is believed to be behind the construction of this dome-like structure for its Marina Bay Sands store
Both locations look like they will be very unique additions to Apple's chain of over 500 stores around the world, in line with the company's more ambitious store designs in recent years. The report claims the new stores will open in the "coming months," but Apple has yet to announce any grand opening dates.
Apple this week announced an increased commitment to coding and education in Southeast Asia through the expansion of its App Development with Swift curriculum at partner schools in Singapore. The company also announced the opening of Indonesia's second Apple Developer Academy in Surabaya.
In Singapore, the Singapore University of Technology and Design and RMIT Online have each launched app development courses using Apple's curriculum for adult learners. Singapore's first autism-focused school, Pathlight School, will also offer a Swift Accelerator program that builds on the same program available to all schools.
“At Apple, we believe education is one of the most powerful tools we have to make the world a better place,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. “We're thrilled that students of all ages in Singapore will now be able to tap into the language of coding, gaining the skills they need to grow and succeed in the app economy and beyond.”
The Singapore University of Technology and Design designed a new app development course that targets working adults who are looking to learn new skills while balancing a full-time job. According to the president of SUTD, Professor Chong Tow Chong, "SUTD looks forward to continuing our close collaboration with Apple in helping our working adults to embrace digital transformation for enhanced employability."
In Indonesia, Apple marked the first graduation of students from its Developer Academy in Jakarta, which has expanded from 75 to 200 students. Later in 2019, Apple plans to open the second Academy in Indonesia, this one in Surabaya.
Apple is well-known for its interest in teaching coding to people of all ages and skill levels, launching the "Everyone Can Code" initiative back in 2016 with the goal of introducing coding curriculum to students around the world. This plan was spearheaded by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who always speaks passionately about the importance of teaching coding to kids at a young age.
Two people told Channel NewsAsia that they lost at least S$7,000 each to iTunes purchases with one saying she was billed on her HSBC credit card. She added that she only realised something was amiss when she received a text message from HSBC that she had less than 30 per cent of her credit limit left. She realised the extent of the issue after speaking to a customer service operator.
The affected customers had reportedly been banking with Singapore banks including UOB, DBS, and Oversea-Chines Banking Corporation (OCBC). OCBC alone confirmed 58 similar cases of fraudulent charges.
One iTunes user who banked with DBS also told Channel News Asia that six fraudulent transactions had "completely wiped out" their account. As a result of the cases, UOB said that it was stepping up monitoring of all iTunes spending over recent weeks due to increase in cases of fraudulent activity.
Apple Singapore told the news organization that it is looking into the charges and had already cancelled many of the transactions identified as fraudulent. We'll update this article if we hear more.