By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Apple has refused to confirm that 19 June is the opening date for their new Sydney store. Some are convinced, though, with fans already making travel plans.

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting 19 June 2008 as the official opening date of Apple’s first Southern Hemisphere store. A cerulean blue banner is now stretched over the three storey high building at the corner of George and King Streets – it reads: “Drop in soon. Apple Store, Sydney” (sic).

The Herald also quotes well known Apple blogger Gary Allen, who has observed that in the US, the banner has generally indicated that the store will open within the next 30 days. Allen is planning on coming to Australia for the opening, which he believes will be at 6pm, and expects a large crowd of Sydneysiders to turn out for the event.

Speaking with, Allen was enthusiastic about the upcoming store opening. "I certainly plan to come down for the opening, and am pretty sure it will be mid-June," Allen said.

This is a sign of the enormous dedication and loyalty that Apple fans have for the brand – Allen lives in Berkeley, a city near San Francisco, which constitutes a 15 hour flight for the avid Apple follower.

Allen will, therefore, be hoping his hunch is right, as Apple Australia’s PR manager Fiona Martin refused to confirm this date. “No date has been announced, this is purely a rumour,” said Martin.

When asked if Apple would announce the date in time for hardcore fans to arrange travel plans to the event, Martin refused to speculate, saying, “when an announcement is made, you’ll know.”

Despite Apple’s coyness in delivering a precise date, there is strong reason to believe the 19 June rumour. reported last week that Optus had revealed a June release date for iPhone, which is Apple’s marquee product. The mid-June opening date would also coincide with the 3G iPhone launch expected by most commentators to be at the Worldwide Developers’ Conference (WWDS), which runs from 9-13 June.

The enthusiasm of Apple fans, such as Allen, to travel to major store openings enhances the prospects of Australians queuing up around Sydney’s streets, in order to purchase the new 3G iPhone when the doors are eventually flung open. 

Full architectural drawings for the Sydney store are available here.