Apple's love-hate relationship with Europe

Posted on January 18, 2005

The roles on this relationship are, unfortunately, quite well defined. It goes like this: Europe loves Apple’s products and hates it’s policy towards Europe. Apple must surely love Europe’s money but hates having to work at it’s distribution there.

So how do we have in Portugal? Well, it’s bad. Real bad. And it’s been like that for ever. When I first bought my iBook roughly a year and a half ago I had to get it from a friend who had connections and could find me one. I couldn’t get it with optional components and had to get them separately. But even getting things like an airport card and a portuguese keyboard were quite an adventure.

Needless to say that when new models came out and people around me tried to get them it was also a painful process to watch.

After a year and a half you’d expect things to be gradually improving. After all we now have an Apple store in Europe so Apple must be trying to do the right thing… You would expect.

And maybe they are but definitely not at an acceptable rate. Not by a long shot.

After some wait, and again with a big stroke of luck, I was able to get ahold of a 20’ iMac G5 recently. I had to wait a while but in the end I got it in what passes in Portugal for a very timely fashion (read: I didn’t have to wait 7 or 8 months for it). The problem is that my iMac has a hardware defect and since there are no iMacs for sale in this country I can’t trade it for a good one. So I’m stuck waiting with a faulty computer on my hands or with no computer at all. Great choice, huh? I’ll get back to you on this when I actually start trying to deal with it, I haven’t had the heart to do it yet.

But this was for a standard hardware configuration. All the wait, all the hundreds of backorders are for standard hardware configurations. Because when you come to built to order computers you add injury to insult and have to deal with the type of thing that Rui is dealing with right now.

Ridiculous doesn’t even begin to describe Apple’s way of treating Europe in general and Portugal in particular.

So Cupertino, can we please, PLEASE! give you our money?