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After years of import restrictions, starting in January you’ll finally be able to walk into an Apple Store in Argentina. But not quite. Apple is opening up direct sales in Argentina but will not (for now) set up independent stores, rather it will open up spaces inside the Frávega chain store. So think of it as an Apple store within a store. Hardly the same thing, we know. But, hey, it’s something!

“During the first quarter of next year we will open up 15 spaces with Apple products, with the brand’s format,” Frávega spokesman Julián Ballarino told El Cronista. “They will be in charge of training the salespeople so customers can interact with the products like they do in the Apple Stores.”

Ballarino described it as a “store-in-store model.”

Frávega will be selling iPads, laptops and many accessories — but not the iPhone for now. “Apple will be the one choosing the products, but we want the consumer to have the greatest number of options possible,” Ballarino said.

Sure, Argentines have been able to pick up Apple products at certain specialty outlets — and, of course, Mercado Libre — for years. And that won’t be changing. But, hey, at least now there will be an option of getting the products (almost) directly from the manufacturer. Baby steps.

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