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Businesses The Almighty Buck Apple

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

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writes "As this story in the Economist notes, Apple's policies regarding international sales are often confusing and outdated.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 :)

  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2010 @03:24AM (#32145108)

    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.

  • 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 Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @04:16AM (#32145302)

    What do you mean? They ARE free, citizens of Europe don't pay anything for these protections. They are free by law.

    What I've never understood is why we don't make a law to say ALL lunches are free!

        Damn straight! Why should I have to pay for it? The government has a lot of money, they should pay!


  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 09, 2010 @04:17AM (#32145314)

    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.

  • Not reallly wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by theolein ( 316044 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @04:33AM (#32145392) Journal

    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 that that would be the most realistic answer.

    Not that I really care all that much about Apple at the moment. I'm a Mac sys admin and I'm kind of burned about the shit that Apple calls a server OS and the related hardware.

  • Re:Non-article? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by matushorvath ( 972424 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @06:09AM (#32145662)

    Mostly it's not about product availability. Often those are products I can buy in a stone shop here without problems. The problem is that if you try to order them online, you often find that your country is simply not listed.

    But why? I mean, the cold war ended 20 years ago, count them. We have had democracy with a market economy since then. We have been in EU for 6 years. Our copyright, patent and consumer law is up to date with the EU law. There is no jungle here, people are not being eaten, this is Europe. And still, half of the times when I try to order something from the net, I find out that they will either not ship it, or ship it for some ridiculous price because we are included in the "rest of the world" region that includes Antarctica and probably the Moon. Even if the web shop is in Europe. And mostly the problem is with big companies, like Amazon or Apple. The small shops are usually fine. I have bought a notebook online from US, and loads of stuff from Germany and UK. Never had any problem. Except that half the time when I found something for a price that seemed OK, I then found that Europe means "west from Vienna".

    Ok, everyone has a right to choose whom to sell and whom not. I don't have a problem with that. But I would like them to make the choice based on some rational thought, not randomly as it seems to be now. People who own web shops just automatically exclude central and east Europe. Other thing, I have seen shops that still list "Czechoslovakia" as one of the countries. Czechoslovakia does not exist, it has been 17 years. Where did they get such an old list of countries? If they don't care about this, I can be sure they don't care whether someone from eastern Europe can order or not.

  • by matushorvath ( 972424 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @06:23AM (#32145698)

    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 most other cases when shops do not ship to eastern Europe are just a result of prejudice and lazyness. The person who fills list of countries into the shop can either investigate which countries to include, or he can just decide to include western Europe "since they are OK" and ignore the rest.

  • 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.
  • by lukas84 ( 912874 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @07:52AM (#32145936) Homepage

    Sadly, this is what a few people here actually believe.

  • by TSRX ( 1129939 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @09:14AM (#32146366)
    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.

  • 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.

  • 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 BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Sunday May 09, 2010 @11:39AM (#32147292)

    * Accelerometer
    How many G's does it measure - how many axis of measurement - maximum sample rate.

    How many Gs does the inertia reel seatbelts lock on a car? The consumer doesn't need to know. They just need to know that they are inertia reel seat belts.

    * Proximity sensor
    Range of measurement - is it 1cm? 1m? 10m? Infra-red? Sonic? Where on the phone is it located?

    How does the switch work which locks the door on a washing machine when there is water in the tub? The consumer doesn't need to know. They just need to know that there is a safety lock when there's water in the tub.

    * Ambient light sensor
    Is it on/off or different levels of light?

    What are the details of the ambient light sensor on your car dashboard? The consumer doesn't need to know. They just need to know that the dash lights are appropriately bright for the time of day.

    Whilst detailing all these things to 3 decimal places on a spec sheet might make a slashdotter come in his pants, all they'd do for a consumer is bury the details they do want to know amongst irrelevant details.

    Now the developer might well have need for some more details on these things, but he'd expect to learn about them on the basis of an API which gives access to the functionality in a way that abstracts the hardware specifics which might change from model to model. And they'd expect to find what details there are on the developer site, not the consumer site.

Air is water with holes in it.