As the annual World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland continues, Apple CEO Tim Cook today met with Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. Amidst discussion of progress in the Czech economy and advancements in artificial intelligence, the Prime Minister suggested Apple establish an official retail location in the country’s capital of Prague.
Apple doesn’t currently operate first-party retail stores in the Czech Republic. While Apple expanded its online store to the country back in 2011, locals must still rely on a network of Apple Premium Resellers for brick and mortar sales and service.
Babiš noted that Cook was “absolutely enthusiastic” that the country has more than 500 scientists working on artificial intelligence before stating that he offered Apple to build a store in Prague. Bizarrely, Babiš claims that Cook immediately agreed and began coordinating plans to do just that.
“Tim Cook responded immediately, and a co-ordination team was set up to prepare a new Apple Store in Prague,” Babiš tweeted. If true, the news would be exciting for the economy in Prague and for Apple fans throughout the country. But the claims as described sound suspiciously out of character for Apple.
Apple stores currently operate in eleven European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and the United Kingdom.
Since the meeting was private, our only perspective on what was said comes from Babiš’s own tweets. If Apple were to announce a new store for the Czech Republic, it would likely be in the form of a press release, not a closed session.