New Apple Store Seoul
Updated: Sep 24, 2018
In January of 2018, the first Apple store opened in Seoul paving the way for the brand in this part of Asia. Today at Apple programming offers many free sessions daily to inspire participants to learn how to use Apple products with creativity in photography, music, art, design and coding. They offer the basic classes on how to operate Mac Computers and the iPhone and all of these services are led by Creative Pros.
This Apple Store Garosugil location is the only Apple Store in all of Seoul and South Korea so you can imagine how busy it is. I was however, impressed at the amount of Apple Employees they had working there and how many spoke fluent English. Everyone we spoke with was very knowledgeable and you could tell Apple really put in a lot of effort with their hiring structure. There were also employees that only spoke Korean which I am sure is quite helpful to the majority of their customers.
We went to the store on a Saturday in September, as I was dealing with a computer issue on my 5-7-year-old Macbook Air (sticky keyboard). This whole past year my laptop was going strong then due to spill of balsamic dressing it was finally time to give in and get a new one.
I spoke with a friendly representative at the store who explained to me with great detail all the differences between the MacBook Air, MacBook and MacBook Pro. I ended up getting the MacBookPro as he mentioned it had a fast processor and the graphics were the best out of all of the options for laptops. I am an avid Netflix watcher and fun photography taker so I was sold when he mentioned how beautiful everything would look! As they do in all Mac stores, they had the ability to check me out at any of the tables which made getting my new items pretty seamless.
They have a Genius Bar, as they do in the states, which can be very helpful for fixing any issues you might have with your products and they offered Apple Care, free for the first year and then 250,000 won for 2 more years. They mentioned I could decide to add it on anytime over the next year which is great that they give you that type of flexibility.
Before the Official Apple Store came to town we relied on a store called Frisbee to sell us any accessories we might need for our Apple computers and phones. We were beyond thrilled when the official Apple Store came to town as Frisbee is very similar in the sense that they sell all Apple Products but it is not an official Apple Store. For this, I am unsure of the way that company works as far as warranty and whether they offer to help fix computer issues like a Genius Bar. I did notice that most employees working there only speak Korean or little English so we really only relied on them for the basic accessory needs. They have however done a good job of making the store look like an Apple Store and it has a sleek and clean appearance.
The only issue I have had with buying a computer in Korea is that it will not let me download my US VPN (Nord VPN) so I do need to speak with the reps at Apple just to be sure that when I go back to the states nothing is blocked. I will also most likely have to download the VPN when I am visiting the states next Spring in order to be able to use it here. In Korea, there are many blocked sites and you don't have access to such as US television, US Netflix etc.. It is however Legal to use a VPN in South Korea. For more information on if it is legal to use a VPN in a country your living in or visiting please click here. In most countries it is legal so there is not too much to worry about.
Overall, I had a fantastic experience at this Apple Store I just wish they had more than one location. Maybe with the success of this store we will be seeing them pop up all over the place. Fingers crossed! Great Job Apple.