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Apple announces iPad will launch in 9 more countries on May 28 - Page 4

post #121 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

Just pre-ordered!

No limit on numbers apparently, although I ordered two and so didn't test a possible limit (Australia).

Price published in this article is correct (includes taxes) and both the wi-fi model and 3G are available for pre-order.

Shipping 'by the 28th'.

Bergermeister - no contracts on wi-fi.

I'll know for sure in a couple of hours. If I buy, I will support my local reseller (Apple royally screwed my previous reseller), and they don't open until; 10:00.

Apple's mail arrived at 4:05 this morning, a little late for some people in Japan to adjust their 2 hour commutes, so they'll probably end up ordering online from Apple, boosting their sales (maybe that's part of the plan). If you don't really read the mail, you won't know that the iPad is actually only available through a very limited number of channels.

 

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Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

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post #122 of 136
Base 16GB WiFi model is ¥48,800.

Apple Care is ¥9,800. A luxurious 21% over the purchase price. For only three years.

Until a month ago, I could have gotten this for ¥2,440 and five years of coverage from my local shop.

My main problem with this is that Apple Care in Japan is not worth one cent.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

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post #123 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Base 16GB WiFi model is ¥48,800.

See, nothing to worry about. Also, that is only $33 more than the US model, which is $50 less than the prices from the article you posted yesterday. Sounds like a good day.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #124 of 136
OK, I'm home.

The short story: I ordered a 32GB WiFi only model with no contract for WiFi spots.


The longer version:

Got to the shop at 9:30 and was #3 in line. By opening there were 15. Read online that the Apple Store in Ginza plus some other shop had over 100 people. When I bought my iPhone last year, there were 7 people in line and a news crew interviewing people. There was no news crew today.

The reseller staff thanked me for objecting to SoftBank yesterday and said that some memo had been circulated late last night changing the policy. It seems true that until last night SB was going to require all customers to offer up their credit info, etc., even for WiFi without a WiFi plan. The SB guy came up to me and bowed 90° and apologized for providing the wrong information yesterday and that they do not require a contract for the WiFi.

Online I saw somewhere that some guy was asked for contract for just the WiFi but when he objected they went with a simpler form. Maybe not every location got the memo.

All iPads in Japan come through SoftBank. The receipt I received for my order today, placed at an Apple Premium Reseller with no connection to the cell phone company, is from SoftBank. I asked why Apple Japan was not used for the WiFi models but nobody could answer. AJ is a non-entity in the iPad, which to me is good news. Hopefully, Apple is finally trying to clean up the mess that is Apple Japan.

When I asked about support and repairs, the SB guys said that has not been decided yet. I said I will order today but I will not actually buy my iPad until I know the support system. SB seems to have gotten on all of this very recently so they cannot present a clear picture of what is going on.

A guy in line behind me said that SoftBank is as messed up as Apple and that neither could really be trusted. He loves Apple devices and said that the sales and support mechanisms were a disaster and an insult to the design, something I have said many times.

The line progressed very slowly. It took over two hours to process ten customers. At least one of the SB staff didn't arrive at the shop until 5 minutes before opening and was still figuring out where things were we the customers were ushered in. Don't know what it was like at other locations.

Prices are now fixed. The prices I posted earlier from looking at SoftBank's page Saturday (I just checked the scrensnaps) are now different: 48800, 58800 and 68800 for the WiFi models, same as listed at the Apple Store. They were updated last night. I wonder if the process will change again before we take delivery...?

Apple's online Store for Japan has the WiFi only models. Under accessories, the top of the list is for a data card for WiFi hotspots run by SB; two years free (not bad in some of the larger cities in Japan but useless where I live). The YES box is pre-checked but the customer can change it to NO. I've never seen this for a 3rd-party item.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #125 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

OK, I'm home...

Read online that the Apple Store in Ginza plus some other shop had over 100 people.

And all those people in line just to pre-order!

Thanks for the tale - interesting story.

All the best.
Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #126 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

...A guy in line behind me said that SoftBank is as messed up as Apple and that neither could really be trusted. He loves Apple devices and said that the sales and support mechanisms were a disaster and an insult to the design, something I have said many times...

It's sad to see that even somewhere we imagine to be efficient and orderly like Japan. What hope for other smaller Asian countries, eg. South East Asia?
post #127 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

All iPads in Japan come through SoftBank. The receipt I received for my order today, placed at an Apple Premium Reseller with no connection to the cell phone company, is from SoftBank. I asked why Apple Japan was not used for the WiFi models but nobody could answer. AJ is a non-entity in the iPad, which to me is good news. Hopefully, Apple is finally trying to clean up the mess that is Apple Japan...When I asked about support and repairs, the SB guys said that has not been decided yet. I said I will order today but I will not actually buy my iPad until I know the support system. SB seems to have gotten on all of this very recently so they cannot present a clear picture of what is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Here's a thought... What if Apple is going to PUSH THE IPAD THROUGH MOBILE PHONE/ TELCO CHANNELS rather than Resellers in most countries? Maybe in the rush to get the iPad launched internationally they are going through Telcos?

So it looks like my prediction is correct, in the sense that they are going to leverage the Telcos. Problem is that half the time Telcos are not necessarily reliable themselves, and they may get very last-minute info from Apple.

Again, this puts Apple Premium Resellers and Authorized Resellers in a bit of a funk because they're caught in the middle and they can't outright sell iPads themselves, at least in Japan so far.

I'm happy you pre-ordered yours, but I'm sick of this iPad stuff. My local dodgy electronics shopping centre is selling grey-market iPads, one of the shops was quoting me USD $800 for the 16GB WiFi model. When I asked about the warranty, the guy blatantly said, "Oh, just go to your local Apple reseller or "Apple Service Centre", it has an International warranty like the iPod". In other words, these generic laptop/mobile phone shops make a quick buck, and customers are left shouting at the official Apple Reseller shops when something goes wrong and the customers realise they've been cheated, since currently the only coverage for iPad is in the US itself.

Sometimes I wonder WTF is the problem with the iPad, just use an ordinary 3G SIM instead of MicroSIM, use your EXISTING MAC SALES CHANNELS, why all the complicated launches with the Telcos? If it's just a plain SIM slot and the iPad is unlocked then that's better for the customer, let the various Telcos offer SIM cards with appropriate data plans as needed, postpaid, prepaid, whatever.

OBVIOUSLY Apple is getting BIG BUCKS from all the Telco payment and exclusivity deals. And Telcos have the size, reach and marketing capacity that goes beyond any ordinary Apple Premium Reseller or Authorized Reseller.

Apple, Inc? Maybe they should change the name again, this time to Apple Mobile, Inc. Buy over Nokia and RIM, sell off the Mac business to Microsoft or Dell.
post #128 of 136
Apple is going to piss off a lot of customers with their uneven allocation policy.
Orders placed with MacMall on the first day of availability of the 3G iPad still have not shipped, and according to MacMall will not ship until the 20th, since Apple delayed delivery to them several times in a row.

Meanwhile checking with Apple's online store customer service reveals that devices are consistently delivered within 5-7 business days.

In other words, Apple keeps the iPads for its own direct customers, where it makes additional profit, and puts their retailers at the bottom of the supply chain. An interesting approach to drive more business to its own retail and online outlets.

I'd consider that anti-competitive. If supplies are tight, the delays should be the same everywhere, so if Apple has enough devices to deliver them to their own direct customers within 5-7 days, it should be able to deliver them to their retailers in the same time span.

In reality, provided MacMall will not be hit with another delay, they have to wait three times as long as people buying directly from Apple.

Once you add the demand from other countries into this equation, this situation may get worse.

Some Apple PR person tried to talk in circles about supply and demand when I called Apple about the matter. Supply and demand explain delays, but they don't explain why retailers face three times longer delays than Apple direct customers. The moment you get answers like from a White House Press Secretary, you know they are trying to cover up some ugly truth.
post #129 of 136
@nvidia2008: microSIMs are just like regular SIM cards, just smaller. You can cut down your existing SIM card and put it into an adapter to put it back into a phone. It's important to remember that not that long ago SIM cards were the size of credit cards... The chip and contact surfaces however have not changed in all that time, just the empty plastic surrounding it.
post #130 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Apple is going to piss off a lot of customers with their uneven allocation policy.
Orders placed with MacMall on the first day of availability of the 3G iPad still have not shipped, and according to MacMall will not ship until the 20th, since Apple delayed delivery to them several times in a row.

Meanwhile checking with Apple's online store customer service reveals that devices are consistently delivered within 5-7 business days.

In other words, Apple keeps the iPads for its own direct customers, where it makes additional profit, and puts their retailers at the bottom of the supply chain. An interesting approach to drive more business to its own retail and online outlets.

I'd consider that anti-competitive. If supplies are tight, the delays should be the same everywhere, so if Apple has enough devices to deliver them to their own direct customers within 5-7 days, it should be able to deliver them to their retailers in the same time span.

In reality, provided MacMall will not be hit with another delay, they have to wait three times as long as people buying directly from Apple.

Once you add the demand from other countries into this equation, this situation may get worse.

Some Apple PR person tried to talk in circles about supply and demand when I called Apple about the matter. Supply and demand explain delays, but they don't explain why retailers face three times longer delays than Apple direct customers. The moment you get answers like from a White House Press Secretary, you know they are trying to cover up some ugly truth.

You need a dose of reality.
Apple are perfectly entitled to server their own customers first, it is not anti-competitve, it is reality.
post #131 of 136
Here in Japan, Apple Care for iPad is a flat ¥9800 for three years, regardless of model, meaning the lower model purchasers pay a bit of a premium (20%, 17%, 14% for 16, 32 and 64GB, respectively).

At the shop I used to buy my Apple stuff at (but no longer can because Apple stopped selling through them), I used to be able to get a five year care plan for 5% of the purchase price. There is a reseller in town that has a similar plan, but not for iDevices because Apple doesn't seem to want to allow them to provide it.

The biggest aggravation here is that the call center is almost useless, so we pay a real premium for shoddy service.

Is the care program in other countries the same?

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #132 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister View Post

Is the care program in other countries the same?

Mate, you DON'T want to know what's going on in Malaysia right now with regard to service and support for the Mac and iPhone. At least the AppleCare hotline is decent enough because it is routed to Singapore or Australia or something like that, well, somewhere where it is reasonably handled.

But that's just the phone support aspect. Hardware, troubleshooting, etc...

But I guess (from most sentiments on these forums) it's just another third-world country here and Apple has a right to let us bleed out, we're lucky we get any Apple products at all, so maybe I should just shut up.
post #133 of 136
I feel the pain.

Something is changing here; it now seems (very recent, I think) that there is no more call center, but only an online form to submit to Apple. The service is available in Japanese, but I have heard of replies coming at 4:00am Japan time, and I highly doubt that Apple Japan has anybody working that late. Perhaps Apple USA is covering. However, at least one reply, though long, was very wandering and only answered 1 out of 5 questions that had been very clearly listed, so the level for now seems on par with AJ, or they are giving Japan a minimal effort.

My hope would be that Apple's HQ is trying to finally fix the mess we've lived with over here for years. A month ago when the resellers were being closed out I went around to a few shops. Four out of five suggested they were almost happy Apple was leaving, giving two reasons: 1) dealing with the sales division here was a pain and 2) care and support was far below par compared to other makers. Two commented that the Apple machines they sold had a far higher repair rate than any other maker. One shop said they had a hard time recommending Macs because of the quality control problem and especially the crappy care and support. Even the staff at a brick and mortar Apple Store said that many customers complained about the call center and that service was not very good. This conversation was over a year ago.

In the SIM-locked thread, someone just posted that the lock might not be the card but in the iPad itself, meaning models shipped to Japan are customized. I have long felt that Macs sold here were, too, and that they were of lesser quality than the same models sold in the US. You've seen my posts about some of the hardware issues I've had (my most recent 7 machines saw 4 replaced within the first couple of months, one twice). It is hard to blame these issues on simple bad karma, but I've never really been certain how the gods look upon me.

Anyway, I again will say that I love Apple products, but I have a serious problem with their sales and support systems here in Japan. I just want to be able to buy Apple products here in Japan with confidence in the build quality and satisfaction with any service that might be required.

Online this past week I've read quite a few a articles about the recent changes in Apple's manner, with one suggesting that Apple is becoming the Microsoft they once criticized very hard and another equating Apple's control over app content with China. So, I'm not completely sure that the changes I've seen recently in Japan are necessarily for the best.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #134 of 136
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

I feel the pain.

Something is changing here; it now seems (very recent, I think) that there is no more call center, but only an online form to submit to Apple. The service is available in Japanese, but I have heard of replies coming at 4:00am Japan time, and I highly doubt that Apple Japan has anybody working that late. Perhaps Apple USA is covering. However, at least one reply, though long, was very wandering and only answered 1 out of 5 questions that had been very clearly listed, so the level for now seems on par with AJ, or they are giving Japan a minimal effort.

Sounds like definitely there's some reshuffling going on. This is not the first time it has happened. I think I mentioned somewhere in a previous post in the early 00's Apple mentioned openly in a earnings report or something-or-other, that they were not happy with their Japan strategy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

My hope would be that Apple's HQ is trying to finally fix the mess we've lived with over here for years. A month ago when the resellers were being closed out I went around to a few shops. Four out of five suggested they were almost happy Apple was leaving, giving two reasons: 1) dealing with the sales division here was a pain and 2) care and support was far below par compared to other makers. Two commented that the Apple machines they sold had a far higher repair rate than any other maker. One shop said they had a hard time recommending Macs because of the quality control problem and especially the crappy care and support. Even the staff at a brick and mortar Apple Store said that many customers complained about the call center and that service was not very good. This conversation was over a year ago.

I always had the impression that Apple Japan was more directly controlled out of Apple USA. For example, on the contrary, South East Asia and India actually go through Apple South Asia which is under Apple China which also oversees Taiwan and Hong Kong. You've got two issues there in Japan. One is that it is possible that distribution of units may be affected in terms of poor hardware quality control. It may be possible Japan is receiving "poorer" batches than other regions. Of course, exacerbating the issue is the poor care and support, which in general makes everything look worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

In the SIM-locked thread, someone just posted that the lock might not be the card but in the iPad itself, meaning models shipped to Japan are customized. I have long felt that Macs sold here were, too, and that they were of lesser quality than the same models sold in the US. You've seen my posts about some of the hardware issues I've had (my most recent 7 machines saw 4 replaced within the first couple of months, one twice). It is hard to blame these issues on simple bad karma, but I've never really been certain how the gods look upon me.

I would imagine the SIM-lock occurs in the device itself. I doubt it would be in the SIM, because then people would be exporting the iPads out of Japan to the grey market with a lot of ease, which is what Softbank etc. don't want, which is why they SIM-locked the iPad in the first place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bergermeister

Anyway, I again will say that I love Apple products, but I have a serious problem with their sales and support systems here in Japan. I just want to be able to buy Apple products here in Japan with confidence in the build quality and satisfaction with any service that might be required.

Online this past week I've read quite a few a articles about the recent changes in Apple's manner, with one suggesting that Apple is becoming the Microsoft they once criticized very hard and another equating Apple's control over app content with China. So, I'm not completely sure that the changes I've seen recently in Japan are necessarily for the best.

Well, Japan notwithstanding Apple is seeing momentous growth and has become a very desirable brand. The success we've seen in 2005-2008 is going to be beaten by 2009-2011+ I think, especially with the iPad. Now, most of my criticism of Apple is centered not around me bashing it for no reason, but empathy with their fast growth rate. I mean, if you've got a restaurant and suddenly everybody's gone real crazy about all your dishes and you've got rave reviews in the press, online, etc... I'm sure running your restaurant is going to be difficult.

This of course doesn't exonerate Apple, they have to think about who they are as a company, where they're heading, and what to do with the surge in demand, and most importantly, come up with a more cohesive and satisfactory international strategy. Of course profits and revenue are a big part of Apple's strategy but there's much more to it, going beyond just the finances is in the culture of the company.

With regard to Apple's international strategy they're going to open a lot more of their own Stores, and they've done pretty well with opening a lot more online Stores in many countries. Both have big advantages, the online Stores for example offer important custom build options in a timely manner, something that Resellers are not so adept with.

We'll have to see how it plays out the rest of the year with iPad madness, iPhone 4G launch, and holiday season frenzy. I've definitely learnt to lower my expectations though, and right now my bank account is a bit happier thanks to not desiring Apple gear so much because of the problems we've discussed.
post #135 of 136
I've definitely learnt to lower my expectations though,

---

Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes) once said, and I paraphrase, the secret to happiness is to lower your expectations to the point where they are already met.

Here's to hoping that Apple will right itself and lead us back to buying frequently again.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
post #136 of 136
The wait is over. Have mine syncing as I type.

Here we go.

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply

 

Your = the possessive of you, as in, "Your name is Tom, right?" or "What is your name?"

 

You're = a contraction of YOU + ARE as in, "You are right" --> "You're right."

 

 

Reply
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