The UK wants bricks-and-mortar Apple stores on its high streets right now, according to Macworld?s latest online poll. 66 per cent of voters demanded that Apple opens its own branded shops ?immediately?, following reports and pictures of Apple?s new US stores this week.

Apple hasn?t announced any plans to follow the US example with UK-based branded high-street shops, so Macworld asked its readers: ?Would you like Apple to open one of its new retail stores on your high street??

Overwhelmingly positive 66 per cent of the 1,000+ voters answered ?Yes, immediately?. Some even suggested perfect spots for the stores, including: Kent?s Bluewater, and Essex?s Lakeside shopping complexes.

?Given the rates charged on most high streets, Apple Stores will be loss leaders, but there?ll be a positive subliminal effect on brand awareness,? pointed out one Macworld reader.

?I find it hard to find Mac programs in my local computer stores, and have resorted to buying online,? said another voter. ?A Mac store on the high street would be great.?

?Get with it Apple!? pleaded one voter. ?Let the world see how intuitive a Mac is - allowing even shop assistants to use it!?

?All the phone companies opened high-street shops - and look at what they've done,? noted a positive voter.

Visibility was a major reason quoted by voters keen to see Apple shops in the UK. ?It wasn?t until I saw a new iBook that I saw the light - and I?ve used a PC for 23 years!? said one new Macworld reader.

?A hard-learned childhood lesson is that most products and people look better in pictures - with the exception of Macs,? said another.

?With very few - albeit laudable - exceptions, Mac selling seems to have followed the motto ?made by geniuses, sold by idiots? for the last ten years,? complained one reader anxious to see qualified sales staff demonstrate the virtues of the Macintosh.

Caution 22 per cent, however, were more cautious, believing that Apple should wait to see how the US stores do first.

Although seven per cent believed Apple should push harder in established high-street stores such as Dixons and PC World, many disagreed.

?Apple should open its own retail chain due to the experience of PC World as such a poor Mac stockist ? as well as being an unpleasant place to shop,? said one voter.

Dixons and PC World are putting the Mac down. They don?t clean them, and they put wrong specifications like ?60MB RAM? on the iMac,? one voter commented.

AppleCentres adapted? Just two per cent thought the present system of AppleCentres was still the way forward. ?Apple should make some of the AppleCentres more commercial - more like the aggressive mail-order dealers,? suggested a voter who believed that Apple?s current retail system could be adapted.

?The Apple Centres have been a poor shop front for the Apple Mac for a long time and tend to favour corporate customers only,? another voter commented.

Some readers voted for caution. ?High-street stores command high-street prices,? pointed out one voter ? although only one per cent believed that Apple should sell ?online only?.

One pessimistic reader believed that Apple ?is going to mess this up big time?.

But the overwhelming response to the Macworld poll was extremely positive. ?Why has it taken 25 years?? asked one. Why indeed?

New poll now active Macworld?s new poll asks ?Should Apple make its own handheld personal digital assistant?? amid rumours that Apple is indeed poised to buy either Palm Inc. or Handspring.

Your choices are:

Apple should license the Palm OS.

Apple should buy Palm.

Apple should buy Handspring.

Apple should bring back the Newton.

Apple should develop a new PDA operating system based on OS X.

No, Apple should stick to desktop and portable Macs.

Vote now!