Travelling Australians looking for a deal on an unlocked iPhone 4 should consider picking one up when passing through the US, thanks to the strong Aussie dollar and Apple's AU price markup.
If you're just connecting through the US, though, there are some airports where Apple Stores are within a few minutes' cab ride.
You'll be able to grab your iPhone and be back in the terminal loading it with music before your flight's boarding.
Here's a handy list of the nearest Apple Store to most major US airports used by Australian carriers.
Los Angeles (LAX)
Most Australia-bound passengers will pass through LAX on Qantas, Virgin Australia, United or Delta, The nearest Apple Store to Los Angeles' LAX Airport is an incredibly convenient three mile trip straight down a single road that'll only take eight minutes!
Bonus tip: if you do decide to rent a car, head on over to the world-famous In-N-Out Burger drive-through at the north end of LAX on the same road. You want a double double, animal style, with fries, also animal style. Trust us on that one. (Trust us that you'll need extra napkins too.)
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
If you're flying out of DFW on Qantas' flights to Sydney via Brisbane, you're in relatively good luck too. It's just a 20-minute drive from the airport at the Southlake Town Square mall (here it is on Google Maps). Bear in mind that the store only opens at noon on Sundays, but with the QF8 flight departing at 10pm that shouldn't be a problem.
San Francisco (SFO)
Apple's flagship San Francisco store is a half-hour ride on the BART from SFO to Powell Street station, at the corner of Stockton and Ellis (across from Market St). If you've got a good few hours' layover then heading into downtown San Francisco is worth the trip, but for shorter stopovers you'll want to sprint from SFO to the Apple Store in Burlingame. It's not in a mall, so you're looking for the corner of Burlingame and Park.
New York (JFK)
You wanted easy? Fuhgeddabout New York, buddy. There's no Apple Store near JFK airport.
On the plus side, there are four in Manhattan, where you're probably heading for business -- so here's what you need to tell your cabbie (or you could just print out the store page for reference):
- Fifth Avenue: 59th St, between 5th and Madison
- Upper West Side: Broadway at 67th St
- SoHo: Prince, between Greene and Mercer (note: will close for refurbishment for several months later this year 2011, so check Apple's store guide for details before heading to SoHo)
- West 14th: West 14th St at 9th Ave
The Fifth Avenue store is the most iconic, but is under renovation for several months. It and the SoHo store are likely to be the busiest (well until the SoHo store pulls down the shutters for renovations) while the West 14th and Upper West Side are likely to be quieter.
Not actually going to Manhattan and you've just got a long JFK connection? You could probably just about make the purchase in four hours for a subway roundtrip which should cost US$7.25 on a Metrocard magnetic swipe card each way.
Here's the easiest way to do it:
- hop on the JFK AirTrain elevated tram to the Howard Beach/JFK Airport stop on the A subway line. (That's one of the lines coloured blue on the map, but don't call it the Blue Line.) That should take around 20 minutes.
- take a Manhattan-bound train to the 14th St stop, which is at 8th Ave and should take you around 30 minutes.
- walk one block west to 9th Ave and you'll find the Apple Store West 14th right there.
- when you're coming back, make sure you get on an A train (not the C or E train, which run on the same tracks) going Downtown
- at Howard Beach/JFK, take the AirTrain back to the airport. If you're flying Qantas, you'll want Terminal 7 at JFK.