Apple Expanding, Microsoft Launching in Hawaii
Earlier this year, retail job postings on the Microsoft web site revealed the company's plans to set up its first Microsoft Store in Honolulu. Sure enough, shoppers at Ala Moana Center soon spotted the future location of Microsoft's island invasion, positioned almost directly across from the state's first and largest Apple Store.
It's one of six Microsoft Stores opening this year, and only the second outside the contiguous 48 states (along with Puerto Rico), bringing the total number of locations to 50. Of course, that's compared to Apple's nearly 400 stores around the world.
Indeed, it also looks like Honolulu's three Apple stores (Ala Moana, Kahala, and Waikiki) are about to get some reinforcements from Cupertino.
Thanks to retail job posting's on Apple's website (spotted by a job-hunting friend), we can surmise that there may soon be an Apple store in Aiea and — at long last — on Maui. (There's been talk of a Maui location for nearly as long as Hawaii's had any Apple stores.) The Aiea location could be at Pearlridge Center, which could be a nice leeward counterpart to the Kahala location. And the Maui location appears to be in Upcountry Maui at Makawao... perhaps at Pukalani Terrace Center?
Job postings don't necessarily mean a store is in the works, but it's been a pretty good indicator in the past. I think Maui is long overdue for an Apple Store, given the demographics and typical traveler profile. And I certainly wouldn't mind having five locations on O'ahu to choose from (though I suspect windward residents will start to feel a bit left out).