Apple's poor and fragmented international market

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by rcp27, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. rcp27 macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    I have been finding it really irritating lately the way Apple treats different countries in such a fragmented and isolated way. I live in Switzerland, a country with four official languages (German, French, Italian and Romansch). I am a native English speaker, and although I'm learning German, my command of the language is still fairly basic. I learned to type on a UK English keyboard, and find the Swiss-German layout really difficult to get used to.

    For their online store, in Switzerland there are two options: French and German. No Italian, no Romansch, no English or any other language options. For the iPhone Apple Store app (despite iTunes claiming it supports a long list of languages), in Switzerland it is German only. No French, Italian, Romansch, and no ability to set it to any other language. The situation is the same throughout Europe. I can walk to Germany from my home in about an hour. I can drive to France in an hour. Italy and Austria are near enough to go and come back the same day by car.

    Even more irritating is keyboard localisations. For historical reasons different countries have different layouts. France favours AZERTY, Germany QWERTZ, while anglophone countries QWERTY. Different countries have different special characters, to accommodate currency symbols or accented characters in their local language. Apple produces keyboards in all of their laptops and desktop keyboards to suit each of these localisations. In fact I expect they are all built in the same factory in China, and shipped world wide.

    Why is it, then, that if I go to the Swiss apple online store, in the BTO options list I am allowed to chose the keyboard layout I want from the great long list of precisely 2 options (Swiss-German or US-International)? I work in an international company, every day I speak with people from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Spanish speaking South America, Ireland, Canada and so on. Not one single person from this list is able to buy a laptop from the online apple store, from the factory that produces thousands of laptops with their home country's particular keyboard localisation, in their "home" version.
  2. neiltc13 macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Probably all because providing all the options you want would bring them a tiny amount of profit and wouldn't really be worth the effort.
  3. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    Value for their investment. Plain and simple.
  4. rcp27 thread starter macrumors regular

    May 12, 2010
    In terms of providing language support, the fact that they are failing to support something like 12% of the population on the web and 20% of the population on their app is going to save them some money, but is also going to cost them in lost sales.

    In terms of BTO options, I am not seeing how allowing customers to order products that are already being built in the factory in large numbers and having them delivered through the standard delivery chain is something that costs them money. It's just a case of putting one standard component instead of another on the parts list, which is what all BTO options do already.
  5. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Apple must have weighed it up and decided it would cost more to bring their U.S services to all other countries than they would profit off it - I know what it's like though, it'd be nice is Apple had more presence in New Zealand (in the way of Apple Stores and stuff) as Apple products are becoming pretty popular here these days :)

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