*note that they have re-located since this Post and I have updated to the new location down below :
Mac use is different in each country relative to its tech culture and Apple’s marketing, where in South Korea used very much less compared with other developed countries . one big obstacle barring Macs to be used seriously in business is (ActiveX) security compatibility with Korean banks on-line . then there is the fix’em-up-and-make-it-run ! mentality of Korean users than having everything done for you by Apple (the company) and the Mac (the computer). still it is used foremost by graphic artists, music & video producers and die-hard afficionardos . now this is a whole world apart from the portables in iPod and iPod Touch (iPhone without the phone) which is immensly popular with a faithful following .
Apple marketing has been rather subjective in South Korea, with rather-small independent contract stores . but has been building pace since last year putting up shop in HyunDai Department Store chains . adding up to 5 major-but-still-minor Apple stores nation-wide (before this opening). plus directly-run On-Line Store open since November 2006 .
this one open today is in hand with KeumKang, the oldest footware company in South Korea, thus their first store located across from their shoes store and apparel store “Spris” . contains a 6-story building – not as large as global flagship stores – of which lower 3 floors are showrooms .
this is prime location smack in the middle of MyeongDong (formerly MyungDong where fashion started in Korea) in central downtown Seoul . where in weekends crowds literally form moving blocks comparable to neighboring Tokyo’s own Shibuya main crossing . this also has become Japanese tourist ground along with DongDaeMoon (East Gate) wholesale district, so much so restaurants have adapted to their less-spicy, sweeter taste .
the land-mass of the building is quite small, far from the Apple Stores you would be used to States-side and more like an American Art School in the Latin Quarter of gaie Paris ..
here’s my pictorial floor-guide from top to bottom
doubles as official support center,
open 9am~9pm daily except New Years & ThanksGiving
Subway Line 4 MyeongDong Station Exit 6 and walk straight North and after 2nd large block :
located next pedestrian block on left across from Spris / Coffee Bean / KeumKang Shoes
( July 2010 Update : still no news of Official iPad landing, but almost as if to brace itself from the crowd awaiting for sale commencement of iPhone 4, they have hence moved to across the street into a larger building – so again, right across the street from what I mention here AND a few buildings up North )
several discount & giveaway events going on now at their barebone
FrisbeeKorea Official Site
while you are in MyeongDong I suggest you check-out among the so-many, many, many+ things to do there :
- Krispy Kreme Donuts where half of the line waiting are young Japanese tourists – from Apple Store keep walking North the direction you were walking from Subway Exit, turn left at the next large pedestrian block (at MyeongDong Art Theatre) and is on your right on the next block .
- Sony ShowRoom right across from Lotte Young Plaza department store at West Entrance of MyeongDong - from Krispy Kreme keep walking West the direction you were walking and turn left at the next big road which is MyeongDong’s West Entrance .
- Lotte Department Store : Duty Free Shop on 10th floor, with large grocery section with imports underground BF floor - from Sony look across the big road and it is the 3rd large building to the right accessible by underground passage .
*but hold it there before you go on a shopping spree : a step short of an all-out virtual nation, South Korea has an extensive myriad of internet shopping malls (pronounce it as ”on-line shopping mall” word-by-word) where even apple products especially accessories are mighty cheaper if you look for them, mostly delivered on your doorstep the next day . but again here you will the assistance of a friend who can read/write Korean characters .
[ Apple Stores AND Support Centers in Korea links ]
official Apple Korea On-Line Store (in Korean only)
independent Apple Stores (Korean)
if you are in Busan (formerly Pusan) : largest A# in central location is right across from Migliore on the East side of SeoMyon .
Busan Subway Line 2 Exit 6, turn around and follow the large road East past JeonJaLand (Electronics Land) and turn right at the next large block .
- oh another one opened in the new Shinsegae Department Store in futuristic Centum City on entrance to HaeUnDae Beach -
Apple support centers in Seoul (Korean & English)
cared by portions of DaeWoo Electronics Support Centers throughout the Korean Peninsula :
http://www.apple.com/kr/support/applecare/aasp/?product=iPhone&city= (updated Summer 2010)
- yes, Korea Tech BLog is /packed/ with helpful information,
very useful for your sojourn in Techno-Metropolis, February 2009 -
[March update] more good news !
FrisbeeKorea will open another Apple Store in HongDae, the jazz bar-stuttled art school area West of downtown Seoul .
- Subway Line 2 HongDae Station Exit 5 turn left at the next large block, will lead you uphill towards HongIk University . past the railway and midway up, across from the apartment complex, to your right where it used to be ‘Vigevano’ shoes store building has a ‘Frisbee’ sign under construction . this is a 3 story building but has larger ground than MyeongDong above . opening date is April 10th .
haven’t been there but the clerks at the main store say the building is wider than the MyeongDong main store
but has less floors thus a tad smaller than the main store but still pretty large considering current independent stores .
[ March 2010 UpDate ]
a year past and now a total of SEVEN Frisbee Stores around the Korean Peninsula Wooha !
um, although still /very/ limited to the most trendy areas for the young college students in the Capital of Seoul AND in the most crowded of Korean cities ONLY .
and because the maps (even in English) in the official Frisbee website is lackingly simplified
I will give a run-down on how to reach there mostly via subway, with most /right/ next to their flagship shoe stores run by the same head company KeumKang .
still, you should know the earlier two stores introduced above are uncomparably LARGER in size as well as merchandise available .
all Frisbee Stores open Monday to Saturday 11am ~ 9pm, and Sunday until 8:30pm
only closed on Lunar New Years AND ThanksGiving Day – the TWO major traditional holidays in Korea .
[ Frisbee Store 3 in Busan or Pusan ]
OK this is the Southern Sector of South Korea’s second City and a major Port .
this whole area of NamPo Dong AND GwangBok Dong is where fashion AND style started out in Modern Pusan before vaguely getting renamed into Busan with a ‘B’. so this would be after the Korean War when large amounts of goodies AND people arrived on the surrounding docks .
Busan Subway Line 1 NamPo Station Exit 1 turn Right at the next alley, 2nd road upfront is camera-row of Busan where some Japanese latest digital cameras (thus Japanese domestic models NOT for export yet) arrive through unofficial route via boat .
turn Left on this road where starts the hair salons AND fashion, so advance 2~3 blocks then Frisbee is on the Right corner of the 3-way intersection .
however WITHOUT turning Right for Frisbee, straight ahead in the following several blocks to the Right is the famed Can Market (Kkang-Ttong-Shi-Jang) AND International Market (Keuk-Jae-Shi-Jang) both crowded open markets where black market merchandise used to flow out of the American Base as well as from all around the World by boat (when imports were largely illegal to protect domestic makers) .. and some /still/ do today – why ? taste a Coke bottled in Coca-Cola Korea and you’ll know the difference -_-
and back to the Subway Station on Exit 2 you will come out to the famed Fist Market of “Ja-Gal-Chi Shi-Jang” where now as a tourist spot you will get ripped off .
[ Frisbee Store 4 in KangNam, Seoul-South ]
Subway Line 9 ShinNonHyun Station Exit 6 you are standing in front of Kyobo Tower which contains one of the largest English AND Japanese section of Kyobo BookStore on the UnderGround Floor, below which is another extensive stationary AND art supply store along with the dying breed of CD Store .
but walk straight from the Subway Exit and Frisbee is just in the next building to your Right
where as Subway Exit 4 will lead up up-hill towards the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel AND Novotel Embassador KangNam .
or if you want to take a stroll in THE most trendy gathering area for the young and hip :
Subway Line 2 KangNam Station Exit 6 will place you in front of New York Bakery where everyone waits standing for their loved ones,
and after 3~4 blocks of pleasant stores you will reach Frisbee onto your Left .
also Subway Exit 7 will lead you to TWO popular movie theatres in City Theatre AND KangNam CGV a few blocks to the right .
[ Frisbee Store 5 in DaeJeon ]
located smack in the middle of South Korea, is considered the most ‘technical’ of all cities for its research facility .
and Frisbee is pretty close to KTX bullet train station so can take a stroll 6 blocks from its West Exit .
DaeJeon Subway Line 1 JoonAngRo Station Exit 1, is onto your Right on the 2nd block
[ Frisbee Store 6 in ShinCheon, Seoul-West ]
- NOT to be confused with ‘ShinChun’ also on Subway Line 2, which is a smaller gathering area in South-East sector of the Capital -
located towards the West just BEFORE the other Frisbee in HongDae,
here is a classic campus area where 3 Universities are nearby – HongIk, YeonSae AND EeHwa .
Subway Line 2 ShinCheon Station Exit 2 and is on your Left on the next block .
[ Frisbee Store 7 at GeonDae, Seoul-East ]
this is another campus area East of the Capital where TWO Subway Lines meet :
Subway Line 2 GeonDaeIpGu Station Exit 5
Subway Line 7 GeonDaeIpGu Station Exit 4
across the road on the ground floor in the corner of a recently built multi-complex consisting of Lotte Department Store, Lotte Cinema, Emart SuperMart AND Star City high-rise apartments .
[ Frisbee Store 8 at SeoMyon, Busan / Pusan ]
previewed to open within September 2010 . this will be the second store in the Port City of Busan, formally spelled Pusan .
kinda goes-with-the-flow, for the old fashion mecca (70′s ~ 80′s) used to be down South in NanPoDong and GwangBokDong where Frisbee already has a store, and since the trend spot moved up North to Central Busan / Pusan over the Millennium, this is where they will be opening their second Busan / Pusan store . I presume will be just South of SeoMyun Subway Station .
[ Apple Product Support at Frisbee Stores in South Korea ]
all open Monday to Friday 11am ~ 7pm and off Lunch 12:30 ~ 1:30, at
MyungDong Branch : on the 3rd Floor, Tel.02-318-7210
HongDae Branch : on the 3rd Floor, Tel.02-323-1763
KangNam Branch : on the UnderGround Floor, Tel.02-532-6547
Busan Branch : on the 3rd Floor, Tel.051-245-1037
[ September 2010 Update ]
I have already added above that Frisbee main store in MyeongDong has moved since it first opened . but I had to leave the earlier snapshots there because it IS a part of Apple nostalgia now in Seoul (duh ?) so adding recent photos of the new building in & out :
while the earlier location was closer to the Northern entrance of MyeongDong from ‘MyeongDong’ Subway Station Exit 6 or 7, it is now midway if you enter MyeongDong from their Western entrance across Lotte Department Store . another choice would be to get off at ‘EulJiRo ibgu’ Subway Station and Exit 5 or 6 .
and up to the second floor :
ofcourse the above people are waiting for their Apple iPhone 4 seems how long you would have to wait has to do with the timing . and it correlates with when people in the general population would have /other/ chores to do, the shorter you would have to wait .
[ December 3rd Supplement ]
let me make it clear to repeat that : Apple still does NOT have a direct-run store in South Korea such as those cubic monolith major US cities, except an On-Line Store where manufactured products are shipped from mainland China after order .
also : this post is about ‘Frisbee’ which is now only ONE of the of Apple-contracted local sellers, although with larger space to-date with increasing branches mostly in the Capital of Seoul .
Apple still holds other contractors with many stores in major department stores as well as product support centers for repair .
[ March 21st 2011 Supplement ]
a whopping 2 years past this Post, South Korea is Apple country .
still, NO direct-run Apple Store except on-Line,
BUT several more chains AND stores as large as Frisbee so look up on their Official Korean site (NOT Frisbee site)
inter-related Posts :
09.2.6 Apple iPhone 3GS Launch in Korea – available Models, Versions and Price to us KT,
10.8.15 Apple iPhone 4 Official Release in South Korea,
10.8.16 Where to Buy, How to Use and How Much to Sell Apple iPad in Seoul, Busan, South Korea,
10.10.5 Apple iPad Begin Sale South Korea Early Sign-Up Reservations,
11.3.15 Apple iPad 2 Release Date Seoul Busan South Korea,
11.10.3 Apple iPhone 4S iPod Touch 4th Generation 4.5 White Release South Korea Price When and Where,
12.4 Apple Stores near inCheon and GimPo AirPorts serving SEOUL :