NEW YORK (
(AAPL - Get Report)
expand the size of its retail stores, as traffic continues to grow at break-neck speeds and customers clamor for the latest iDevice.
The iPhone maker originally had plans to open around 100 stores that were 6,000 square-feet, but its retail stores are now around 8,400 square feet, and that's proving to be too small, says Needham & Co. analyst Charles Wolf in a research note.
Apple has been building temporary stores while it expands in areas such as New York City's SoHo, and has built mega-stores in Grand Central Terminal, as well as London's Covent Garden. Wolf said that the Apple Store plays a vital role in building Apple's brand, calling it "the 'face' of Apple." He rates Apple shares "buy" with a $620 price target.
While Apple's iPhone is on the major U.S. networks like
, it's not yet on
, but the telecom company might be trying to change that, according to
Apple has tested an iPhone on T-Mobile's network,
reported, but did not find it satisfactory. T-Mobile is working to change that, rolling out a HSPA+ "4G" service on the 1900MHz band in several different markets. This doesn't mean T-Mobile is getting the iPhone anytime soon, just that its' network is capable of handling one, should customers decide to switch carriers.
Shares of Apple are lower in Tuesday trading, off 1.57% to $560.64.
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Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York