A German financial and tech Web site reports that Apple will open five retail stores in the country within the next six to 12 months. It would represent a major expansion into continental Europe, where Rome is the only known future store so far. The Faz.net” Web site attributes the information to an executive of Apple distributor Gravis, and says the cities will include Berlin, Munich, Cologne, Hamburg and possibly Frankfurt. Gravis managing director Archibald Horlitz told the Web site that he obtained the information about the new stores while attending Macworld Expo in San Francisco, and that he is “99.9%” convinced of the plans. He said it would be a positive move for Gravis, since it would greatly increase the visibility of Apple products within the country. He did express concern about receiving equal supplies of new products after Apple stores open. Gravis operates 24 stores with 420 employees in Germany. Horlitz said Gravis revenues were up 34% last year, and the company intends to open 12 additional stores during 2006, located like its existing stores–on main shopping streets and not within malls. Faz.net said Apple-Germany declined to comment on the information. I earlier reported on possible Berlin store locations.