Apple's Woes in Europe

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Date: Thursday, December 26th, 2002, 10:00
Category: Archive

I’ve just read an interesting interview in the January edition of German Mac magazine MacUp. On page 14 one of the editors interviewed Klaus Weinmann, CEO of Europe’s largest Apple dealer, Cancom. I’d like to quote some answers by Weinmann, which throw some light on Apple’s woes in Europe and especially Germany where Apple has enormous problems getting off the ground. The answers are, to my mind, of importance to American readers and Mac users, too. Hopefully, also some Apple guy at Cupertino takes note. (I translated questions and answers from German for your convenience.)


I’ve just read an interesting interview in the January edition of German Mac magazine MacUp. On page 14 one of the editors interviewed Klaus Weinmann, CEO of Europe’s largest Apple dealer, Cancom. I’d like to quote some answers by Weinmann, which throw some light on Apple’s woes in Europe and especially Germany where Apple has enormous problems getting off the ground. The answers are, to my mind, of importance to American readers and Mac users, too. Hopefully, also some Apple guy at Cupertino takes note. (I translated questions and answers from German for your convenience.)

Q. What’s the state of Apple’s market in Germany right now?
Weinmann: Apple sales have dropped 25 percent in Germany. We at Cancom experienced a decrease of 10 to 15 percent. We’re hit less badly than the rest of the market, because right now we profit from our PC division. Competition is very tough which eats away the profit margins. There is going to be a great number of resellers going out of business.

Q. What must Apple do to recover?
Weinmann: Apple has made serious mistakes. Among other things they scrapped the three-year warranty. Moreover Apple has neglected the professional users. These are the people Apple and we make money with. The consumers are not our clients. With their Switcher campaign Apple addresses exclusively the consumers, but this doesn’t work in Germany. Apple users in Germany are pro users. If Apple wrecks the German market things for Apple will look bad in Europe. We criticize Apple’s unprofessional approach. What we need is the right hardware at the right time. Logistics must work, which means the products must be ready to ship when announced and must reach the clients fast. And goddam it, it’s high time we get something for the professional market. We need the G5 processor. The next processor, together with OS X, must provide a REAL boost to performance. Or else, our users will not buy new Apple hardware and invest their money elsewhere.

Q. What is it you request from Apple?
Weinmann: I urgently ask Apple to listen to their clients. Steve Jobs is a great visionary, but it wouldn’t diminish his reputation if he condescended to talk to some of his clients. Steve Ballmer of Microsoft does exactly this. Well, at least, we managed Pascal Cagni, boss of Apple Europe, to meet us and discuss our problems with Apple with us.

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