Japan Apple Stores serve as rallying point after massive quake

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Crowds have flocked to the Apple Stores in Japan in order to stay connected after last week's devastating earthquake, according to e-mails reportedly from an Apple retail store manager in Japan.



"With the phone and train lines down, taxis stopped, and millions of people stuck in the Tokyo shopping district scared, with no access to television, hundreds of people were swarming into Apple stores," an unnamed Apple Store manager in Japan wrote in an email to Digg founder Kevin Rose.



As the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history, the "Great Tohoku Earthquake," which reached a magnitude of 9.0 on the moment magnitude scale, and subsequent tsunami have caused untold damage and loss of life since striking off the coast of Japan last Friday.



The Apple Store manager compared the role of the company's retail stores during the aftermath to that of "electronics shops that have TVs in the display windows" in disaster movies.



"Staff brought out surge protectors and extension cords with 10s of iOS device adapters so people could charge their phones & pads and contact their loved ones," the manager wrote, noting that the Apple retail stores are some of the only locations to offer free Wi-Fi in Japan. "Even after we finally had to close 10pm, crowds of people huddled in front of our stores to use the wifi into the night, as it was still the only way to get access to the outside world."



In a second e-mail, the correspondent explained how Apple Stores also became a refuge for Apple employees and their families. With transportation at a standstill and numerous workers stranded in downtown Tokyo, "Apple told all of their staff - Retail AND Corporate - that they could go sleep at the Apple stores," the manager said. The company also reportedly offered to reimburse any costs incurred by employees trying to get home.



Apple is accepting Red Cross donations through iTunes for relief work in Japan, while AT&T is offering free calls and texts to Japan through the end of March.



Japan has become an important market for Apple, as the company's products, especially the iPhone and iPad, have gained popularity. Last year, one research firm reported that Apple had taken roughly 72 percent of total smartphone sales in the country. The iPad was also well-received when it launched there last May.



Apple currently operates 7 retail stores in the country. Revenue from Japan comprised 5.4 percent of Apple's overall revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2011.



According to analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the earthquake could adversely affect Apple's income by as much as $202 million in the March quarter. In a worst case scenario, which assumes no sales in Japan for the first half of the June quarter, Munster sees a negative impact of 2.7 percent, or $563 million.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post




    According to analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray, the earthquake could adversely affect Apple's income by as much as $202 million in the March quarter. In a worst case scenario, which assumes no sales in Japan for the first half of the June quarter, Munster sees a negative impact of 2.7 percent, or $563 million.



    What nonsense. A country of 125 million people, the third largest economy in the world, with its citizens among the world's wealthiest are going to stop buying computers, MP3 players, phones, and tablets because of a natural disaster?



    Talk about an analyst stretching his capabilities and relevance just to stay within the story line.
  • Reply 2 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    The link to the letter is in the main article but I don’t think it should be passed up so I’m posting it on the forum.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Rad this on kevin's website. I wonder what the store design was for this particular store if they were able to survive the quake. Granted Tokyo was pretty far away from the epicenter, but no way this was a glass cube.



    Pretty awesome though on apple' part do do something like this.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    if its the one in Ginza, not so much a glass cube, but concrete with glass infills. Ground floor of a multistory building.
  • Reply 5 of 40
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    There was also a guy, who asked the staff to help him post images about the earthquake-tsunami to share with others. The images he collated were even more horrific than the ones shown in the US networks.



    Since it was already much later, and near closing time, the Apple staff, the guy and I got into a discussion about energy and nuclear energy.



    He turned out to be Japanese when I asked later.



    There are many Japanese in Boston (including two in the Red Sox). The community is rallying to help.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Rad this on kevin's website. I wonder what the store design was for this particular store if they were able to survive the quake. Granted Tokyo was pretty far away from the epicenter, but no way this was a glass cube.



    Pretty awesome though on apple' part do do something like this.



    Since the 1980's, the government mandated that all new tall buildings must comply to mandated earthquake codes. It is actually pretty neat technology -- the buildings sway", just like a bamboo, to go along with severe stress (typhoons, and mainly earthquake). I just do not know up to what Reichter scale the mandate was.



    If you follow the news, most of the deaths and destructions was caused by the tsunami.



    Just another note, all the reactors that were in peril were based from Westinghouse technology. The impact of the meltdown (which already was confirmed) may even be more longer lasting than that of the tsunami.



    Canada developed a different kind of nuclear reactor technology, called CANDU, that was less prone to undergo nuclear meltdown. But, of course, Westinghouse had more clout and became more widely constructed in a number of other countries.





    CGC
  • Reply 6 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    My girl is going to Japan this weekend. I'm trying to get her iPad2 this week, so she can bring that with her instead of her old macbook.



    Japanese people are very smart and they love Apple products. They're also more civilized than many other groups of people. Do you see any looting and such, even after that huge quake and tsunami? I'm not Japanese, that is just my observation.
  • Reply 7 of 40
    sennensennen Posts: 1,469member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    The link to the letter is in the main article but I don?t think it should be passed up so I?m posting it on the forum.



    It's a great read. I've shared it on my fb, which has been useful for keeping in touch with friends over there.
  • Reply 8 of 40
    wurm5150wurm5150 Posts: 763member
    Is the iPad 2 launch in Japan still pushing through?
  • Reply 9 of 40
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    What nonsense. A country of 125 million people, the third largest economy in the world, with its citizens among the world's wealthiest are going to stop buying computers, MP3 players, phones, and tablets because of a natural disaster?



    Talk about an analyst stretching his capabilities and relevance just to stay within the story line.



    I am really surprised about the brazenness of Gene Muster's predictions and projections. I would be more cautious if I have his record. But, he seems to be getting bolder and more brazen.



    I am not as much concerned with the near term. I am more concerned about the potential disruption in supply of raw materials and the final assembly.



    Before Apple growth really exploded, there was a time when a really bad weather in Taiwan affected the availability (delay) of Mac products. If I am not mistaken, most of the final assemby of Apple products are now in China-Taiwan with major supplies coming significantly from China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. All part of the ring of fire as well as regularly subjected to super typhoons becoming more frequent the past few years.



    CGC
  • Reply 10 of 40
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Japanese people are very smart and they love Apple products. They're also more civilized than many other groups of people. Do you see any looting and such, even after that huge quake and tsunami? I'm not Japanese, that is just my observation.



    Somehow, I got hooked to Japanese culture, even before I learned to read. I stumbled into a glossy Japanese magazine in our house. I do not know how it got there.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


    Somehow, I got hooked [...] stumbled into a glossy Japanese magazine in our house. I do not know how it got there.



    I do not want to speculate... but hey, it depends on which magazine you're referring to
  • Reply 12 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Granted Tokyo was pretty far away from the epicenter, but no way this was a glass cube.







    The one in Ginza March 2008...the Apple logo on top actually rotates
  • Reply 13 of 40
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post


    I do not want to speculate... but hey, it depends on which magazine you're referring to



    I wasn?t sure if he was making a naughty reference or not. Guess I?m not the only one.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    My girl is going to Japan this weekend. I'm trying to get her iPad2 this week, so she can bring that with her instead of her old macbook.



    Japanese people are very smart and they love Apple products. They're also more civilized than many other groups of people. Do you see any looting and such, even after that huge quake and tsunami? I'm not Japanese, that is just my observation.



    Don't try to tell an elderly Chinese person that the Japanese are civilized... I'll say this, the Japanese are extremely polite and selfless, but with a terrible past that 95% of modern Japanese had nothing to do with...Although they do some terrible things to dolphins...



    I've always wondered why Apple has not been more successful in Japan until recently. Apple and Japan seem made for each other. Japanese are known to pay more for quality, enjoy a zen aesthetic, they highly value reliability, etc.



    Anyway I digress. This story was actually very touching, imagining all the people huddled around to find whatever news they could made me a little misty. I certainly wish all the best towards them.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    Donate to the International Redcross for Japan



    US Residents can text to 90999 to make a $10 donation



    Faire un don Ã* l'Redcross international pour le Japon

    ...Spenden an das Internationale Rotkreuz für Japan

    Dona a la Redcross Internacional de Japón

    Donera till den internationella Redcross för Japan

    Fai una donazione al Redcross internazionale per il Giappone
  • Reply 16 of 40
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    My girl is going to Japan this weekend. I'm trying to get her iPad2 this week, so she can bring that with her instead of her old macbook.




    I know this probably sound stupid, but I if were you I won't let my girl go to Japan this weekend. Things are evolving so fast there right now and there's no way to know if the Japanese government is telling the whole truth on this.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    There will be panic and frantic attempts to get out. It would be insane to go into Japan now. Nuclear reactors are melting down; radiation spreading.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    I know this probably sound stupid, but I if were you I won't let my girl go to Japan this weekend. Things are evolving so fast there right now and there's no way to know if the Japanese government is telling the whole truth on this.



    She had booked her ticket well in advance of these current events. The area that she is going to (western Japan) is not located close to any of the areas that seem to have been affected by the quake and tsunami, but we are keeping an eye on the situation and if something changes, then she can always delay her trip. She is visiting family there, so I'm sure that they have first hand knowledge of exactly how things are where they are located.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by acslater017 View Post


    Don't try to tell an elderly Chinese person that the Japanese are civilized... I'll say this, the Japanese are extremely polite and selfless, but with a terrible past that 95% of modern Japanese had nothing to do with...Although they do some terrible things to dolphins...



    I'm a big war history buff, and yes, they have been quite brutal at times. Luckily, their militarism and warrior code seems to be a thing of the past.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    Such a good "feel good" human story until it got ruined by the marketing spiel in the end. Come on guys.
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