Originally Posted by Bergermeister
1 I do know that the Japanese government has been considering banning locking for a while, and also that locking is pretty common here. I think that it would have been awesome if Apple had been able to add its weight to opening this up. I also know that changing things here isn't that easy.
2 No. I am not in the electronics retail business at all and never have been. So, I am not biased. I simply am a customer who has dealt with Apple Japan for many years. It has been an exasperating experience and I am honest when I say I don't know when I won't be able to take it anymore. I truly love Apple's devices, but the way AJ works is mind boggling. Even the Apple B&M stores complain about them (the B&M stores are run by Apple USA). IMHO, Because of AJ, the state of Apple here in Japan is not what it could be. If Apple could fix things here, I would be very happy. I have no idea what their contract with AJ contains.
3 Yeah, I think the iPad will do very well here. There will be plenty of unhappy people, but plenty of buyers. Again, however, I would have hoped that Apple would have managed to leverage this to follow their goal of unlocked devices worldwide.
Great recap of your points. I took a stroll through my local big IT shopping plaza, and yes, Apple does create products in just a different league. The rest of the market - no tablet to be seen. Sony came out with a new range of super-thin laptops, and just for fun, I tried to bend the screen a bit. It does flex quite shockingly. Not sure if it's supposed to do that. And then there's netbooks, netbooks and netbooks. Boring. Then to phones, WTF is that Corby series from Samsung? What happened to Sony Ericsson? Sure, now Android phones are out and are HD and touchscreen and what not, but what sort of experience does it offer?
So in regards to your points above,
1. When it comes to the big Telcos there's perhaps only so much ~different~ Apple is willing to be.
2. This comes down to Apple having to rethink their entire international strategy, which they are doing, but have a ways to go. The reseller system has many flaws. Only once Apple started opening their own Stores in various countries did they realise how bad some countries' Resellers were. In the UK they discovered a lot of fraud with the way third-party authorised service centres were run, because the operating data from Apple Genius Bars in official Stores was way different from third-party service centres. Probably Japan, maybe Australia, maybe some European countries, other countries... once Apple Stores open up, I think maybe Apple USA gets a lot of feedback on things that were unsatisfactory before the official Stores opened.
3. I am starting to cool down a bit and I think bottom line will be Apple will try to get the iPad out to as many people as fast as possible without quality being drastically affected. People will just have to deal with it, or not. As I mentioned, in context of the general IT scene, maybe I've been spoilt being in the Apple ecosphere. I use my Windows 7 PC for gaming, and nowadays if I'm not actively playing a particular game, or I'm a bit more socially active, my PC just sits there.
To be fair as well I have to admit my Macbook Aluminium has been bugging me because the trackpad is a bit off, it's losing "clicks sometimes", the screen doesn't shut flush, and CDs were getting stuck. My very own company I am on contract with used to do decent repairs but a few of their decent technicians left, leaving the repair service in this country in a shocking state right now --> which dovetails with me understanding Bergermeister's frustration with Apple's country offices and/or Resellers/Service Centres.