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Apple's Haves and Have Nots, Around the World 247

Posted by timothy
from the just-bitter-about-ipad-prices dept.
Rambo Tribble writes "As this story in the Economist notes, Apple's policies regarding international sales are often confusing and outdated. Apparently, Apple either hasn't been aware of political and social changes in the world over the last 20 years, or doesn't wish to acknowledge them." Soulskill rightly notes that at least some of the complained-about policies boil down to Apple's adherence to local copyright and licensing laws.
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Apple's Haves and Have Nots, Around the World

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  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by masterwit (1800118) * on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:04AM (#32144854) Journal
    Just a sincerely humble opinion from a user of slashdot, I mean no cynical biased remarks from what follows, now that I got that out of the way:

    That's interesting, do you mean to say laws differ from country to country, WOW!

    If anyone has some more intelligent takes or even substantial information other than the article that was linked, please inform me and I will gladly read :)

    • Re:wow (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:16AM (#32144898)

      Seriously. Just wait until the economist hears about region coded dvds!

    • Not reallly wow (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theolein (316044)

      The most obvious answer, from a quick look at the list is that the current list of countries reflects countries where Apple judges that it will make enough ROI to make it worthwhile investing the large sums of money it takes to make for an Apple "experience". For Apple that means translating all its documentation and website/store and also setting up local call centres and localising its products. Given that there are many small countries with small Apple brand recognition in Eastern Europe, I would think t

      • Re:Not reallly wow (Score:5, Informative)

        by war4peace (1628283) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @05:48AM (#32145610)
        Yeah, right. Ukraine, Poland and Romania amount to over 100 million people. In Poland and Romania, there are lots of people already owning iPhones and iPads are already being sold (and no, I mean no counterfeits, the real thing, they are legit devices bought from Western Europe and sold with inflated prices). And guess what, people buy them as well.
        iTunes doesn't need large sums of money invested to make it work for these countries. But you are right, Apple "judges" and TBH, doesn't judge correctly. They CAN make money out of these countries, but they don't feel like trying. Oh well, this approach makes someone else rich anyway.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by BasilBrush (643681)

          In Poland and Romania, there are lots of people already owning iPhones and iPads are already being sold (and no, I mean no counterfeits, the real thing, they are legit devices bought from Western Europe and sold with inflated prices).

          Authorised Apple Resellers: Poland
          http://www.apple.com/pl/buy/locator/map.html?tySearch=1&viaProduct=2&viaSpecial=-1&strCountry=POL&lat=52.2296756&lng=21.0122287&gCountry=PL&c3=1 [apple.com]

          Authorised Apple Reseller, Romania:
          http://store.apcom.ro/ [apcom.ro]

        • by theolein (316044)

          Of course there will be people who buy Apple stuff, almost anywhere you go, even third world countries with almost no infrastructure, but for Apple to actually spend the money it would take to translate the documentation, localise the OS etc, there would have to be enough people in that country buying Apple's stuff for Apple to make a profit, and I don't know that this is the case in places like Poland, Romania and Estonia etc.

          • Who said about localizing it? Unlike other countries *ahem*Western European*ahem*, The Eastern Block average Joes don't really need full localization. Documentation translation is required by law, indeed, but that's something you pay 0.05 cents per word. 100K words (which is a LOT of documentation) costs 5000 USD to translate fully (it's not a fortune, really). And FYI, we're not talking about third world countries. As a matter of fact, Romania is the 4th country in the world on average Broadband speed (htt
      • I think it's also about negotiating content deals for each country

    • Just a sincerely humble opinion from a user of slashdot, I mean no cynical biased remarks from what follows, now that I got that out of the way:

      That's interesting, do you mean to say laws differ from country to country, WOW!

      It's not only digital downloads though. Here in Belgium for example we won't be getting the iPad until a month after the UK, France and Germany even though to get to mainland Europe they have to ship these things through our ports. It feels like Apple doesn't have someone setting a global EU policy but instead has several separate divisions doing their thing in opposition to each other.

  • by lul_wat (1623489) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:14AM (#32144890)
    Apples website is generally a shambles. I'm trying to develop iPhone applications and it's useless and difficult to navigate.

    Also try looking at the technical specifications of the iPhone - it's just a bulletpoint list of features- hardly 'technical'

    Basically their website sucks, and the sucking doesn't stop there with Apple
    • by mveloso (325617) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:36AM (#32144964)

      Sometimes when something sucks it's not them - it's you.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by BasilBrush (643681)

      Apples website is generally a shambles. I'm trying to develop iPhone applications and it's useless and difficult to navigate.

      Apple's consumer website www.apple.com is one of the best designed websites out there.

      Apple's developer website developer.apple.com is less well designed, more evolved over a period of time. But hardly a problem. If you're having trouble finding information for developing iPhone applications, then the first most likely explanation is that you haven't yet paid your $99 to be in the iP

      • by Cyberax (705495) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @09:47AM (#32146566)

        "Apple's consumer website www.apple.com is one of the best designed websites out there."

        WTF? Apple.com is crap, complete and useless.

        Let's say I'm a visitor from Ukraine (I am, BTW). I go to apple.com - and see a site in English. How do I switch language to Ukrainian or Russian? The common way is to have a switch at the top of the site, offering language choices from GeoIP database.

        But here I have to scroll it all the way down and click on inconspicuous 'Choose your country or region' button.

        Ok, I click it and see country names. There's Ukraine? Nowhere to be found, even though I know as a fact that there are authorized Apple sellers in Kiev. Ok, I click on "Russia" because I speak Russian as well.

        Great, I see the big 'Buy' button on the top left. I eagerly click it (http://www.apple.com/ru/buy/). And see a lot of options (some of them with in a broken grammar - can't they find good translators?). What should I choose? What is the difference between Apple distributors and resellers?

        Ok, I click on "Apple distributors" - http://www.apple.com/ru/buy/shop/ [apple.com]

        Great! I now can see the list of 3 (count them - THREE!) Apple shops for the whole Russia, all in Moscow. Wow!

        And you might notice that I still can't find Ukrainian distributors.

        Ok, I'm a power user and do a web search: http://yandex.ua/yandsearch?text=Apple%20%D0%B0%D0%B2%D1%82%D0%BE%D1%80%D0%B8%D0%B7%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9%20%D0%B4%D0%B8%D0%BB%D0%B5%D1%80&lr=143&ncrnd=214 [yandex.ua] on a local search engine. Great! Now I found the http://www.apple.com/ru/buy/locator/ [apple.com] - reseller locator.

        And with a couple of clicks I find what I need: http://www.apple.com/ru/buy/locator/map.html?tySearch=1&viaProduct=2&viaSpecial=-1&strCountry=UKR&lat=50.45&lng=30.5233333&gCountry=UA [apple.com]

        But how can I find this locator without resorting to a search engine? It turns out, I have to click on "Apple Authorised Reseller" link here: http://www.apple.com/ru/buy/ [apple.com] Its description says: "They help you to choose Mac or iPod, provide professional consultation and technical support of Apple products" - not a word about ability to search.

        In short, Apple's web site is a #$#*@(&$^#*(&$ mess.

        • by Kizeh (71312) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @09:57AM (#32146612)

          Actually, the preferred way for a website to default to a language should be based on the browser indicated preference. That way, say, French speaking Canadians or Spanish speaking American's don't get lumped in the wrong group based on GeoIP (and I can put in Finnish as my preference regardless of my current location.) The list of preferred languages and their order should be hidden in your browser menu somewhere.

          No argument about Apple's site, though :-)

          • Actually, the preferred way for a website to default to a language should be based on the browser indicated preference.

            The Accept-Language header is designed for people speaking just one language, and is pretty useless for most of the world. It doesn't allow me to specify that I generally prefer Polish to English, but that I prefer an English original to a Polish (mis-)translation.

            Please don't use HTTP content negotiation for user-visible attributes, such as language; reserve it to technical aspects, such as image formats.

        • by Corbets (169101) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @10:10AM (#32146688) Homepage

          Or just short circuit all your problems and try going to Apple's Russian website. You know, www.apple.com/ru . Like, you know, everyone else in every other country in the world goes to their own Apple site.

          • by Cyberax (705495)

            It won't solve all problems, it just allows to avoid the first step (language change).

            Google, for example, works fine - it presents a localized homepage by default based on GeoIP.

        • Wow. Despite Yandex web spider consuming gigabytes of my bandwidth every month despite explicitly excluding them in robots.txt, your post is the first time I've ever seen them referenced.
    • So, because part of the site doesn't cater to your specific needs, it sucks? Have you considered that you are not the target audience for that particular page? Most people fill their tech specs page with too much technical info when all someone wants to know is the weight, if a specific feature is included, etc. If you want more details, then the developer site should tell you what you need to know, and there's always Google.

  • by muindaur (925372) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:18AM (#32144904) Journal

    The only thing I managed to really garner from this article is this, it's about Apples country restrictions on music and movies.

    If the economist did a bit more research independently they would see it's a rights management issue from the content generators. Music and film in both the US and UK tend to restrict certain things like to their respective countries on a belief it's the only way everyone gets their dues.

    It's the reason the silly regional encoding exists for the encryption on almost every DVD; my Discovery Channel Living With Wolves DVD lacked any sort of encryption.
    Partly the irrational fear that artists won't get their rightful dues, because of currency exchange rates. Piracy fears I think are the biggest concern on the media companies not letting stuff out of the country digitally.

    Along with the fact they make probably loads licensing manufacturers in other countries to make them locally and get around tariffs.

    • by tnok85 (1434319) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:39AM (#32144972)

      Partly the irrational fear that artists won't get their rightful dues, because of currency exchange rates.

      Are you insinuating that artists currently DO get their rightful dues?

    • by Too Much Noise (755847) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:09AM (#32145068) Journal

      If you try reading the first part of TFA as well, you'll see that you don't get Apple Store access at all in some European countries (members of the European Union, mind you, even some in the euro-zone), but you do in Vietnam. How is that again about movies and video again?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Amazingly to do business in any country you need to meet that country's legal requirements, business requirements and son. It may very well be that Vietnam is really easy to do business in and I'm sure the proximity to China makes shipping easy. Likewise certain countries ARE well known sources for fraud so you may not want to do business there. Just because a country in in the EU doesn't mean much.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by matushorvath (972424)

          Sorry, this is just plain prejudice. For business purposes EU is one big country. OK, certain countries are well known sources for fraud. My country is not one of them. There is no problem with doing business here. Dell and HP have support centers here that support users all over Europe. IBM has a sales/purchasing center here, they handle accounts all over the world. SAP has a software developer center here, too.

          Maybe Apple has some IP related reasons why they can sell media only in certain countries, but m

          • My country is not one of them.

            Bull shit!!! Even the US has plenty of fraud. The real questions are: What's the percentage of fraud/theft/loss/damage can a company like Apple expect when shipping/selling to your country? It's all a question of percentages and cost-benefit analysis. No one country is 100% free from fraud (even a country like Japan, I can give you examples of fraud there too).

            There is no problem with doing business here. Dell and HP have support centers here that support users all over Europe. IBM has a sales/purchasing center here, they handle accounts all over the world. SAP has a software developer center here, too.

            Yeah, you guys can accept money coming in, but what about money coming out? How long does it take for a wire transfer, a check, and/or for a credit c

          • Sorry, this is just plain prejudice. For business purposes EU is one big country.

            No it is not. While there are few trade barriers, there are different monetary units (not everyone who is part of the EU has the same currency) as well as different levels of taxation and different intellectual property rights. At best, it is a free trade and labour zone among its members, of last time I checked, the United States was not one of them.

            Why do people treat private commercial entities as some sort of pseudo-government entity that is obliged to do business universally?

          • by Blakey Rat (99501)

            Sorry, this is just plain prejudice. For business purposes EU is one big country.

            Oh come on! I'm not buying that one. The US isn't even "one big country", and it's *actually* a big country... take a look at the difference in consumer laws between California and Texas, to pull two big states out of a hat.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by TSRX (1129939)
      Piracy fears I think are the biggest concern on the media companies not letting stuff out of the country digitally.

      After all, the best way to combat the copying of a product is to not even sell it.

  • Unfair? (Score:3, Funny)

    by tnok85 (1434319) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:23AM (#32144920)
    Complaining about inequality in Western Europe? What do they think this is, socialism?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2010 @02:25AM (#32144932)
    Slashdot: News for Apple, Apples that Matter
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Apple fanboys are hard at work modding any slightly critical comment down it seems. Spending mod points on an AC ... they seem to be rather rabid today.

      • by oztiks (921504) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @09:23AM (#32146410)

        I hear ya on that one AC, Apple users need to spend less time defending their favored product and more time on outlining its advantages. I'm happy to hear about whats good about Apple and in many cases agree with them. IMHO Apples products are tailored to a specific type of person, that's someone who wants something out-of-the-box and easy to use.

        The critical issue for me is flexibility and no Mac person can give a good rebuttal against it. When you buy a Mac you're pretty much stuck with what you've got, they don't make good long term upgradable solutions like the other brands out there in the same marketplace.

        The issue with Flash and how it is slow, its slow because of the API restrictions. This whole debacle came into the light about Flash after Apple made it an issue, before that nobody really cared and was happy to develop for it. Now Apple says Flash is crap so does everyone else. Well lets try not to use the power of FUD to always lean on the easy way out here, lets all be a bit more critical, even of your own loved product. Why not see the short coming and advantages from every POV not just one source.

        iPad, is it going to replace Netbooks? no you simply can do too much with Netbooks, iPad works great for media and eBooks but lacks in its overall versatility, why? because the same problems the iPhone is presently trumped with. Apple wants to hammer down its App Store and stop flash from circumventing it. Does it mean the iPad is shit? for a lot of people its a very useful tool. What separates the market is geek/nerd/IT enthusiast vs the general computer user that has no intention of flipping the hood and is satisfied with what they have.

        Apple people love to try and turn you, first they mod you down to buggery, then they try to say things like "Apple does more in-house development and hardware manufacturing then ever before" the flipside of that is, no they haven't they've outsourced a lot of it and turned themselves into more of an assembly line like dell rather then a vendor, they've become a much larger company so therefore what they do manufacture has expanded. Trying to tell to me that in the past they made a large portion of their own chipsets but now use Intel, ATI, nVidia, etc, however now they make their own cases and batteries, I'm like sheesh how can that compare. It's starting to brimming into a whole brainwashing exercise for me, i think its just sad.

        Personally for me, Microsoft is a nasty business in some of its dealings but if we were to turn back the clock at those pivotal years and "powers to be" favored Mac at the time the IT industry we have today would be far less free, it would be suppressed by the control features Apple puts in their products and we would be years behind where we are today.

        • by Graff (532189)

          The critical issue for me is flexibility and no Mac person can give a good rebuttal against it. When you buy a Mac you're pretty much stuck with what you've got, they don't make good long term upgradable solutions like the other brands out there in the same marketplace.

          First of all, Macs tend to have a lot longer lifetime without any need for upgrading. I'm a systems administrator and we tend to upgrade/replace Windows machines at about 1/2 the lifetime of Macintosh machines. Both sets of machines are completely usable to the same level, it's just that Apple's machines and Mac OS X just seem to be less sensitive to the ravages of time. This seems to be due to Macintosh build quality and the fact that Mac OS X is much less demanding on hardware than Windows.

          Secondly, most

  • I guess the Global Village metaphor for the world we live in is apt after all. You have the haves, and the have nots.

    I don't think we will ever have a global economy where everything is available to everyone everywhere.

    • There is this little thing called the "Black market". I'm In Cairo and the iPad is on display for sale at many stores. Anything can be had at most places in the world, if the price is right. Globalization transcends import laws, regional formats, and exchange rates.
      • by Rakishi (759894)

        Just because Apple doesn't sell it from their website in a country does nothing to keep companies from importing it or even from apple selling it locally. Hell, there's a Polish version of the itunes store but not of the apple store. Official iphone launch there and all.

  • Fiefdoms (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DNS-and-BIND (461968) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:31AM (#32145138) Homepage
    My guess: international sales are a fief of various barons and counts of Apple corp. No interest in upgrading because it wouldn't serve the interest of whoever's in charge.

    As an aside, wtf is up with the bizarre tone of the article? "What has Apple got against eastern Europe?" "Cold warriors"? WTF? Seems a rather strange take on disorganization inside a mega-corporation. Or is this all a giant case of projection, where journalists attribute their own undesirable feelings onto others?

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:33AM (#32145146) Homepage Journal
    For those complaining that Apple screws over it's non-US customers, take a look at the apple store Japan. Despite the really strong yen most things in the Apple store in Japan cost about the same(esp. when you consider that the 5% tax is already included) as they do in the US store, while those in Europe tend to cost a lot more.

    Obviously part a big part of the discrepancy is the sales tax, but doing business in Europe just plain costs more. Shipping from China(where most of Apples stuff is made) to Europe is obviously more expensive than shipping to Japan or the US(largely because there isn't really a direct sea route), but thats only part of the reason.

    European consumers and employees tend to enjoy a lot more protections under the law then those in the US and Japan. For instance tt costs more to hire(and fire) the European workers that man the warehouses and shipping facilities, Apple is responsible for paying to properly dispose of all electronics it sells, European consumers can make Apple pay for a much wider range of repairs to products then can consumers in the US or Japan etc.

    Not saying whether or not these protections are good or bad, but many Europeans don't seem to realize that they certainly aren't free. If you want these protections then you are going to have to be willing to pay for them, otherwise if you want them then stuff is going to cost more, end of story.
    • by tsa (15680)

      Another thing is that we have much a longer warranty period on new goods than the US. Apple has to pay for all the repairs within this period too.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Shin-LaC (1333529)
      You're looking at the problem from the wrong end. It's not about costs at all, it's about how much people are willing to pay. European customers were used to paying more, so Apple had no reason to lower prices.

      Recently, however, it seems that things are changing. Maybe it's because consumers are more conscious of their spending due to the economic situation; maybe it's the increasing pressure from low-cost PCs; maybe Apple simply wants to expand its market share in Europe at last.

      Whatever the reason, th
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mikael_j (106439)

        Whatever the reason, the cheapest MacBook is now $999 in the US, and €902 in Italy. Take out the 20% VAT and you get €721.6, which at the current rate is just $919 - actually less than in the US store.

        Yes it does seem like Apple has finally started to use the real exchange rate when calculating the value of the "Apple dollar", here in Sweden the cheapest macbook costs SEK 9995 with sales tax which comes to just over $1000 without the sales tax. But this is definitely something fairly new, it used to be that people joked about how the "Apple dollar" had a SEK 15 : $1 exchange rate even when the real dollar was at SEK 7 : $1. There was even some guy who made a blog post when the macbook pro first came out,

        • by Shin-LaC (1333529)
          Really? How do you buy a MacBook with a foreign keyboard in the US? There are only a few choices on the Apple Store, and Swedish is not amongst them.
    • Gah, posted as AC, let's try again:

      those in Europe tend to cost a lot more.

      Not really:

      499$ = 391€

      391 X 1,19* = 465€

      +15€** = 480€

      With 514 € that's a 34 € markup. That's 6,6%. Nothing to get your pants in a bunch about. The 499 € in France and Italy show clearly that they use psychological pricing, if people pay 480 €, they'll as likely pay 499 €.

      And I actually don't know if there's some kind of custom duty, computers are normally free in Europe, but who knows ...

      *19% german VAT (Mehrwertst

    • by trifish (826353)

      What are you talking about? Apple is shipping to Europe. TFA is about eastern European countries that are members of the EU, NATO, etc. and have been out of communism for 20 years. The EU countries have the same laws regarding intellectual property.

      TFA begins with this tag line: "What has Apple got against eastern Europe?"

    • by matt4077 (581118)
      Real costs are usually just a lower bound for the price. The price gets set by what the market will accept. Europeans are probably just less price-sensitive.
    • by jrumney (197329)

      to Europe is obviously more expensive than shipping to Japan or the US(largely because there isn't really a direct sea route)

      If only the Egyptians would dig a canal through the narrow strip from Port Said to Suez we could avoid the "'ere be dragons" areas south of Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope.

  • VAT (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:48AM (#32145184)

    Presumably the author already knows that the UK listed prices are so high because VAT is included, since they're legally required to include VAT in the advertised price....right author?

    • by mjwx (966435)

      Presumably the author already knows that the UK listed prices are so high because VAT is included, since they're legally required to include VAT in the advertised price....right author?

      UK Vat is 17.5%, so unless US sales taxes are over 25% and not listed in Apple's advertised $499 price tag then it matches the GBP 429 (US $637) price tag. BTW, US$499+ 17.5% VAT = US$586.50.

      I cant wait to hear your justification on Australian prices, we only have 10% GST (Goods and Services Tax) and our prices are frequ

  • by gig (78408) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @04:41AM (#32145416)

    Apple makes just 1 of each product for the whole world in almost every case. The only difference between an iPhone bought in San Francisco and one bought anywhere else is the government in question. There are not "US editions" and "international editions." Apple does not even make proprietary Verizon or Sprint iPhones to serve the US cell market of 3 overlapping monopolies, they run on AT&T only in the US because it's the only US carrier that is compatible with the world. So not only are these criticisms of Apple misguided, they're entirely opposite. International customers should be praising Apple for providing them with the exact same product.

    Apple even sells power adapters that are worldwide-compatible. They have a "World Travel Adapter Kit" which is simply a set of various international plugs. You simply pull the US plug off your MacBook, iPad, iPhone, or iPod adapter and plug on the correct plug for where you are and it just works.

      Is there any other US corporation that is so internationally-minded?

  • by dafing (753481) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @04:56AM (#32145468) Journal
    As a New Zealander, living in a country of a voluminous FOUR million, it sucks being left out. Yes, the NZ release of the iPad has been announced...but its been a long time for many NZ Apple fans, I bet many worldwide have been annoyed.

    The first iPhone sold in NZ was the 3G. I imported an Original iPhone, it ended up costing me $790 NZD ($564 odd USD) all up, and I run it on a prepaid plan, no set monthly costs. The 3G iPhone would have cost over 1000 NZD new, so I saved A LOT of money, *AND* had a product months before it was released in my country. A Win Win situation!

    Sadly my iPad will have cost me more than if I had waited, but I stick by my decision to buy an import when I did. I've had my iPad for a couple weeks now, and an extra hundred odd dollars is worth it to me. I remember going slowly insane over the NZ iPhone wait...hearing every single blog on the internet (even the gardening sites!) talk talk talk about the iPhone...how great it is, how wonderful, who needs Jesus when we have this wonderful iPhone....I'd rather pay a couple hundred more than have to put up with that for months, especially when the dates are "to be confirmed".

    But hey, if the worst thing you have to whine about in life is that you have to wait a couple months for the latest gadget....perhaps I shouldnt be complaining :)
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)

      Does NZ still have the insanely-high import duties on electronics? Man, when I was there, even a beige box cost almost twice what it did in the US due to that. I remember thinking: "hey NZ, if you haven't succeeded in creating a local electronics industry by this point, you might as well just give up and get rid of the duties."

      This was in about 2001.

  • by xerent_sweden (1010825) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @06:24AM (#32145702)
    All the computers are shipped from China via the Netherlands anyway, so having business in each country seems like a bad idea. Why not have a single EU store and headquarters, much like in the US? Besides, because of free trade within the EU, a swedish customer can just order one from Germany - and pay German taxes - no swedish VAT added, for example.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by RoscBottle (937276)
      Wrong. If you order from another EU country the company is required to charge your local VAT. It is mainly luxury and media taxes that can be dodged, but only if they're charged at the engros level or later. For example; I can (and do) avoid paying the Danish media tax on writable discs by ordering from Germany, but I still pay Danish VAT. The evil Swedish goverment insidiously charges the insanely high luxury-tax on snus at production level, so I get to pay that AND Danish VAT, even though I live in Denmar
      • by Marcika (1003625)

        Wrong. If you order from another EU country the company is required to charge your local VAT. It is mainly luxury and media taxes that can be dodged, but only if they're charged at the engros level or later. For example; I can (and do) avoid paying the Danish media tax on writable discs by ordering from Germany, but I still pay Danish VAT. The evil Swedish goverment insidiously charges the insanely high luxury-tax on snus at production level, so I get to pay that AND Danish VAT, even though I live in Denmark (where the tax on smoke-free tobacco is a more lenient less than 10€/kg). Yes, an opinion irrelevant to TFA snuck in, but there you are.

        That is not correct, and hasn't been correct for at least two years. The VAT "one-stop-shop" [ibls.com] rules in the EU mean that in a transaction, the seller can choose which country's VAT rates it wants to comply with - which is usually the seller's country. I.e. a German seller charges you only German VAT, and Amazon smartly set itself up in Luxembourg and only adds on 15% Luxembourg VAT [v3.co.uk] even if you order from Germany or Denmark.

        It has to work the way you described if you ordered stuff from outside the EU - the US

      • by xaxa (988988)

        You are both partly correct:
        When goods or services are sold to a private person across a border within the area, the buyer usually pays the sales country's VAT to the seller, and does not pay any local VAT. But if the seller's annual sales of goods to the buyer's country exceed a threshold (which varies by country), the seller must instead charge VAT in the buyer's country. These are known as the distance selling rules.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_Value_Added_Tax_Area [wikipedia.org]

  • If we're talking about media, let's take the Fox Network as an example. Because of licensing, Fox doesn't have any rights to The Simpsons once you go north of the border. Once you do, The Simpsons belongs to Global TV [globaltv.com].

    Licensing the main reason why the available medias in each and every iTunes Store around the world is different. Too bad for the media companies, however, because sometimes the individual markets of each country is too small to even bother, but all added up could mean from 5 to 50% more sales.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @10:04AM (#32146664)
    The article showed a setup window for iTunes for Windows. It seems to imply that there was a lack of languages. Is this a limitation on the Windows version? For languages, I can see far more options on OS X than listed in the article. Furthermore are they limitations on Windows?
  • apple better look out as mac os x can not be locked to apple hardware all over the World and PearPC likely will win in court.

  • Soulskill rightly notes that at least some of the complained-about policies boil down to Apple's adherence to local copyright and licensing laws.

    And who is that? Why should I care what they think? I thought at first that it might be a Slashdot commenter, but that name doesn't show up on this post.

    God Slashdot summaries suck.

  • If the problem is "Apple's adherence to local copyright and licensing laws", maybe Apple should spend some pocket change to lobby to have such stupid 'intellectual property [cat-v.org]' laws abolished. But given how much Apple loves to abuse such laws for its own benefit I'm not holding my breath.

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