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New Scottish Apple Store appears, then VANISHES off map app

McMacHeads appear underwhelmed...

Pigeon crapping on statue

It appears someone has taken steps to cover their tracks after accidentally revealing the existence of a new Apple Store on Apple's map app.

Even though the existence of a new "iStore" was one of the worst kept secrets in Edinburgh, it seems someone was determined to maintain its blown cover.

Apple has denied making the change to the map.

Apple confirmed the existence of the store in July of this year, but only has only just gotten around to a proper announcement. It sent out invitations today to a grand opening on 18 October.

The first reports about Apple opening a store in Edinburgh began to circulate in 2010.

Since then, Apple has kept its gob shut, although the tell-tale presence of its logo on hoardings outside the shop alerted the faithful that their messiah was soon to land in Edinburgh.

Various other slip-ups confirmed the existence of the store.

Earlier this year, the bus stop opposite the shop was renamed "Apple Store" on the displays fitted with buses operated by a firm called Lothian Buses.

Workmen also fitted a sign to the building telling anyone with deliveries to the Apple store to drop them off around the side.

In the screenshot below, taken a few days ago, the Apple Store is clearly marked on the map. Yet when we checked again this morning it had gone...

It looks likely that the information was scraped from Yelp, which started sharing data with Apple following the release of iOS 7. Here's the Yelp entry, which still shows a Apple Store opposite the Balmoral Hotel on Edinburgh's Princes Street.

An Apple spokesman said: "There is a reseller at that location that describes itself as an alternative Apple store, so that’s likely to be them.

"As for why is was removed, I have no idea. It might be worth asking them.”

We phoned the “Alternative Genius Bar”, which is actually located on Waverley Steps and is across the road from the “iStore” that appears on map.

We asked the reseller for its version of events and it said that its premises had always been listed under its business name, SimplyFixIt, and there was no link between the "iStore" icon on Apple Maps and its business.

Choppy waters in the channel

The arrival of an Apple store often heralds bad news for local businesses.

We spoke to an Apple reseller with the unfortunate name of Stormfront.

Stormfront operates three shops in Stirling, Dundee and Carlisle, but its bosses did not wish to talk to us.

The opening of the Apple store in Glasgow proved too much for Apple reseller Scotsys, which shut up shop after it "took a hiding when the new store opened".

So are the Scots as excited as Apple as they were about leaving the UK? Well, sort of, is the answer.

A poll on STV, the Scottish telly station which occupies channel three, found that 50 per cent of grumpy tartan-botherers said "meh" to the new Apple store, whereas 44 per cent were excited to see a canny taxpayer pitch its tent in Scottish capital.

If you remember, this is not far off the number who voted against Alex Salmond's secession plans.

Here's what one Twitterer had to say about Apple's announcement:

One Scottish blogger was more positive and insisted that fanbois will give the new store a huge Scottish welcome. However, rather than using time-honoured Reg lingo, he referred to Apple lovers using the rather Scotch-sounding moniker MacHeads.

One thing we do know about Edinburgh is that the genteel folk of this tweet city hate Glasgow, which they see as being populated by riff-raff. Yet Apple clearly doesn't agree with this, having opened up a store back in 2007.

Regardless of this vote of confidence in Edinburgh's rival city, some locals were glad they didn't leave Auld Reekie to travel through to The Weeg.

The Apple store opens on 18 October in a building on the corner of Princes Street and West Register Street. This used to be a Woolworths between 1926 and 1984, after which it became the unhappy home for a number of shops including Boots, Waterstones, Burger King and Wimpy - none of which stuck around.

Can Apple break the curse of West Register Street?

Thanks to Alex for the map app tip. ®

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