Apple Mapped: Countries with official Apple websites, stores, and retail stores

23Feb10

Which countries have official Apple websites, official online Apple Stores, and which countries have Apple retail stores? If you love maps, and you love Apple, you’ll love this post. See more after the jump.

Click to see full-size version

This map (to the right) shows which countries have their own official Apple websites and online Apple stores.

A whopping 97 countries have an official Apple web presence of some kind. Only 88 have official sites. The other 9 only have official iPhone pages.

You may not have heard of these before, but for some countries their official Apple “website” only consists of a single page — advertising the iPhone, with contact details for local phone networks and dealers — no front page, no downloads section, no Mac pages, no iTunes pages, no support section, nothing. In fact, most aren’t even written in the local language. Perhaps this will change with the release of the iPad, as they may at least add another page for that device.

Much of the Latin America and Caribbean countries actually share the same official site. All the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have one site, and all the English-speaking countries in Latin America and the Caribbean have another. However, Apple lists these countries separately in their “choose your country” page on apple.com, giving the feeling that they each have their own site.

Languages

Click for full-size chart

Apple uses 27 different languages across their official websites. The official sites of some countries are available in more than one language. For example, Belgium’s site is available in Dutch and French, Switzerland’s in German and French, Canada’s in English and French, Hong Kong’s in Simplified Chinese script and English.

Strangely, many sites are not available in the local language, but are presented in French or English instead. For example, Israel’s site is not in Hebrew or Arabic (the two official languages), but in English. The same goes for Egypt’s, which is in English, not Arabic. The sites for Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau are odd ones, as the official languages of both those countries is Portuguese, but the Apple site is in English — which is ironic considering all of Apple’s material has already been translated into Portuguese anyway for the Portuguese and Brazilian official websites.

It seems odd that on the one hand, in some countries Apple will produce their site in two local languages to reach as many customers as possible, yet in other countries they don’t even bother to translate it into the one local language. See our chart to the right for a full breakdown. Countries with the “wrong” language on their official Apple site have their language highlighted in red.

If Apple wants to reach as many people as possible, this situation will surely change in the future. Not everyone reads English — especially the older generations, who may be the very customers who will be new to Apple when they buy their first iPad.

The online Apple stores

A surprising number of countries have their own online Apple Store – 33, in fact. India and China also have their own, but Apple does not sell their goods via the site, but merely allows browsing of their products. Countries without an official online Apple store typically have a “where to buy” section, listing local resellers.

Some online Apple Stores, such as Denmark’s store, is actually written in English — even though the main website is in Danish.

Apple’s focus on the US is changing

Apple has been naturally US-centric for many years (as are many American corporations). This has changed and has to continue changing. At their last earnings call, it was revealed that 55% of Apple’s profits were generated outside of the United States. This will only grow larger over time.

Click to see the full-size version

Indeed, Apple is slowly expanding it’s retail stores outside of the United States. This map (to the right) shows which countries have official Apple retail stores, and which countries are rumored to get them soon. Currently there are retail stores in 10 countries.

Many of these countries (especially France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and China) have very few stores, and the potential for expansion is enormous.

The expansion must continue

To provide a first-class service to as many customers as possible, Apple must continue to expand the number of countries with retail stores, and the number of languages in which they present their websites and support material. In a few decades, it’s quite possible that 75%, 80% or even 90% of Apple’s revenue will come from outside of the United States. Eastern Europe, China, India, Latin America, and even parts of Africa all have an emerging middle class. It may not be long before more iPhones and iPads are sold in China than in the United States — and those Chinese consumers will want local Apple stores with Apple Geniuses that speak the local language. The same goes for all other developing countries.

However, as of 2010, Apple seems to have covered most of the world with at least an official page. The countries with the largest markets which are still awaiting their own websites, could be listed as Pakistan, Cyprus, Serbia, and Ukraine. These all have sizable markets, and a growing middle-class.

Smaller countries and territories, such as Mauritius, Réunion, Slovenia, Lebanon, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, etc. also do not have websites yet. You may assume that this is due to their small populations. However, if Apple is willing to give a country as small as Macau (pop. 540,000) it’s own mini official website, why not countries like Cyprus (pop. 800,000)? After all, if Mali has it’s own website (GDP per capita: $656), why not New Celedonia (GDP per capita: $36,000)?

Only Apple knows, but perhaps much of it is to do with simply “getting around to it”. I sincerely hope that the number of languages does expand. Indeed, if Apple’s new iPad really is going to be the next computing revolution, they will need to expand it’s reach as far as possible – and that means hiring more translators, opening more online stores, and building more retail stores.

Recap

  • Countries with official websites: 88
  • Countries with an official iPhone page: 9
  • Countries with official online Apple stores: 33 (+2 for browsing only)
  • Languages used: 27
  • Countries with retail stores: 10

A future article on Apple Appraisal will examine the international outreach of iTunes, the iPhone, and the App Store. Stay tuned!

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