Apple last night unveiled its new 'mini' retail store during a press event at which Apple CEO Steve Jobs also showed up.

The mini stores are a new, fourth design for Apple, featuring stainless steel walls, seamless white floors and ceilings. The stores are half the size of Apple's smallest stores to date. The company hopes to deploy the stores in locations its previous retail outlets wouldn't fit.

The company will open its first six such stores on Saturday at 10am in Palo Alto, CA; San Jose, CA; Santa Rosa, CA; Tukwila, WA; Bridgewater, NJ; and Rockaway, NJ.

Apple senior vice president of retail, Ron Johnson, said: "Our mini store is a big experience that fits in a small space. The mini store’s small size will allow us to place stores in a variety of interesting new locations, while retaining innovations like the Genius Bar that have made Apple’s retail stores such a hit."

Apple claims that over half the US population now lives within a 15-minute trip of an Apple Store. "The mini store is designed to precisely locate additional stores closer to customers to make it even more convenient to purchase products and get help."

The new outlets demonstrate iMacs, iPods, iBooks, PowerBooks and a variety of third-party peripherals. they also host a Genius Bar and on-site repair facilities.

Apple's retail outlets generated almost $1.2 billion revenues in the last financial year.

Apple has confirmed plans to open Apple retail outlets across the UK, with London and Birmingham locations officially confirmed so far.