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Apple will attempt its quest of global domination by launching a handful of new stores in key international markets

Apple plans to open an additional 40 to 50 Apple retail locations across the world in 2010, as the company hopes to provide local services in additional foreign markets.

More than half of the new stores next year will be located outside of the United States, according to Apple, which needs to bolster its international presence.  A further international expansion will help convince consumers to visit Apple stores to see the company's various products and services in person.

Specifically, Apple will open new locations in London and Paris, with at least two stores already planned for Shanghai.  After launching its first stores in 2001, Apple has seen continued success built around its trendy stores -- analysts predict Apple had almost 46 million visitors to its stores worldwide during the month of September.

Apple currently has stores in the U.S. from San Francisco to New York City, and now must deal with increased competition from Microsoft entering the retail space.  Microsoft's California location in Mission Viejo competes directly with an Apple store in the same retail location.   

The Cupertino-based company currently has 280 stores operating in 10 different countries.  Apple's products are sold in Best Buy and other brick and mortar locations, but Apple has been able to offer customers one-on-one interaction when it comes to tech support and future product purchases.





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