Apple opening retail outlets in Chengdu and Shenzhen where iPads are made

Reuters reports that Apple is planning to open two new stores in Chinese cities Chengdu and Shenzhen, regardless of its ongoing legal spat with China’s bankrupt display maker Proview over the rights to use the iPad moniker in the 1.33 billion people market.

Chengdu and Shenzhen are also homes to the world’s largest manufacturing sites. It’s also where contract manufacturer Foxconn runs production facilities where iOS devices are being made…

According to the news gathering organization, quoting “government officials”, Cupertino is looking to build a pair of flagship stores in the major Chinese cities of Chengdu and Shenzhen.

Opening stores in Shenzhen and Chengdu will be a big boost for Apple’s China business, which currently has only five stores on the mainland, three in Shanghai and two in Beijing.

Apple submitted documents on Monday to the Shenzhen government to open a store in Holiday Plaza, an upscale mall in the Nanshan district, according to an official with the Market Supervision Administration who would only give his last name as Ni.

The company is already hiring sales staff in Chengdu and Shenzhen.

Picture above: Apple’s wonderful Nanjing East outlet.

Apple’s finance chief Peter Oppenheimer promised during last quarter’s conference call with analysts new Apple stores in the China market.

But as regards for retail stores, we will open two stores in Shanghai this summer, and would target having about 25 stores open in China by the end of calendar 2011.

I think the new China stores are needed and that Apple’s retail efforts in the country have fallen behind compared to other high-trafficked markets, largely due to Apple’s explosive growth in the 1.33 billion people country.

Apple’s first-quarter China profit doubled compared to the year-ago quarter. China revenues were $7.9 billion, up five fold year-on-year.

The iPhone market share in China surged to 19 percent between January and March of this year, up over just 5.7 percent at the end of 2011.

As the company works to bring the iPhone to China Mobile, the world’s biggest carrier, and launch iPad in China, retail stores will prove a major push for Apple’s sales in China.

The irony of it is that workers who assemble iPhones just across the town won’t be able to waltz inside those shiny new stores and pick an iPhone or iPad because their wage, despite pay increase, still doesn’t cover basic needs.

It’s a shame, really.