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06 May 2005

Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

The Greek Apple Reseller shows its incapability... again
 

Yesterday I went to a Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger introduction event at the Store of Rainbow in Akadimias Street. For those who are tuning in late, Rainbow is the distributor of Apple computers in Greece. They are doing one hell of a job keeping the market share of Apple down. At yesterdays event they were again proving their incapability to do anything in Apple style.


Getting to the presentation

My boss had gotten an invitation mail and forwarded to me. I promptly forgot about the event. But then my friend Spyros called and suggested to go together. In my swiss temperament I made arrangements to arrive in time. We were early, while our slot of the show started 20 minutes late. The number of people waiting were roughly equivalent to what a medium Mac shop in a city in Switzerland (e.g. Basel) would be able to get together without much effort. I would guess that the seminar room held 20 people.

When we finally sat down, we noticed that the projector was broken because of "a burned out lamp". A lady changed the projector, and the new one's setup screen seemed to be alright. But the projector was unhooked from the presentation G5. Instead there was a 23" Cinema Display. We could make out the screen, but obviously it was impossible to read anything. When people complained about this, the speaker explained that they had tried to get the setup to work, but the projector was "broken" and they had given up trying in order not to waste any more time, "fixing the setup would take hours".

A lame speech

He started to talk. He had already given that talk twice that day. So he started to talk and talk in a quite slurry manner. Instead of showing why and how Macs are better, he would tell us. He said things that were hardly believable. Every piece of Software for Windows is available for Mac too. OK, he would correct, every major piece of software. Actually, he would correct again, actually MS Office is. He scored major points in credibility with the audience there. Did I mention that he said Unix is a programming language? Of course I was the only one to notice, but it hurt.

Now, I have been to Apple presentations before. There is a certain quality of the speech given. Not everyone might have the charisma of Steve Jobs, but a bit of punch can be expected. This guy was just pulling his thing through. After his opening why Macs are better, he came to the innovations of the new system.

The usual language problem with Mac OS

Right before he could start, someone from the audience asked if Tiger is localized in Greek. He explained that the situation has not changed. Tiger comes in all kind of languages, except Greek. If you want Greek, you have to buy your Mac through Rainbow or one of their resellers. Then you get another CD with the Greek localization. You have to call in to Rainbow to activate the software with the serial number of your Mac. Nothing new there and another score for turning down the audience.

The meat of the presentation:

Back to Tiger. So, he started with "Dashboard". He said something like: "The new system has this thing called 'Dashboard'. You probably have read about it on the Apple web site." And that was it. He went on to the next point: "Now, normally when we work on the Mac we open all these windows. The new system has this cool search feature, so we can find all our stuff without opening all the windows." (He starts opening some stuff I did not really see on the monitor) "Just don't judge the new feature from what you see on this G5, it isn't working properly." Voices from the audience: "It doesn't work on G5s?" Reply from speaker: "No, just this G5 does not work."

That was it. We stood up and left. I couldn't stand it any longer. They want to show off how cool Macs and the new OS are? Tip: Prepare a backup for your equipment, a G5 that you can't hook up to your beamer and that does not work properly with the new features is not convincing.

Conclusion: Rainbow is not Apple

Rainbow is not Apple. They don't have and never have the level of competence that Apple shows in all their doings with customers. They have shown me on this evening clearly that they are a bunch of amateurs. It wasn't until the iPod that Greece started to learn little by little that there is even something like Apple. Why Apple Inc. leaves this market in the hands of such a distributor is outside of my knowledge. Whenever I mention my experiences with Apple in Switzerland (which are quite good, even with some quirks we had), they say that Greece is such a small market with such a low market share for Apple. So Greece is not interesting to Apple in that logic. Sure. Maybe one should turn the logic around? What would the market be with someone doing a bit of proper marketing and sales? Times have changed. We have the Euro. Mercedes is selling in Greece, Ikea is selling in Greece, Sony is selling in Greece, heck, even Porsche is selling in Greece. Time is ripe for Apple to sell in Greece too.

Posted by betabug at 11:05 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
ch athens
Life in Athens (Greece) for a foreigner from the other side of the mountains. And with an interest in digital life and the feeling of change in a big city. Multilingual English - German - Greek.
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Comments
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

Dear Beta, you day by day realize why Macs are not distributed in this country. That company prefers to keep the whole sale of Macs in its hands, just in order to sale one or two updates more. The market share for Apple in this country is not small because of Macs' incompatibility with PCs, it 's because of that distributor 's stubborness to dominate the whole market with oriental-style methods.

Posted by: Paanos Liberopoulos at May 07,2005 07:57
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

And to mention that you can't decide one day to buy a mac and have it. You have first to visit their expedition center in Athens in order to supply you with a form that you have to complete by hand and supply photocopies of your id, id in order to have an account at www.applestore.gr . And when you have done this, you have to give them your blessings and wait for two months in order to have your macintosh with more ram that the original model.

Posted by: Emmanuel at May 08,2005 00:33
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

"Small market, small marketshare", I've heard that in Portugal too and also that "Apple just worries about the US market". We have shortage of equipment here. Just today someone asked me for a PowerMac G5 with some extras (+ram, etc), and now I'm told that it will take about 6 weeks to get here. I know when ordering "custom" Apple hardware normally takes longer, but that's a bit too long. But hey I have had 4 weeks waiting for normal orders before, so I'm used to.
And reading your experience, I wonder who's the fault here. Is Apple not just supporting our countries? Is it the retailer's fault? Either way Apple Europe should look better into this.
You can also read this by Rui Carmo, when he ordered his custom iMac on a large multinational store here in Portugal.

Posted by: Rodolfo Gouveia at May 11,2005 00:10
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

can someone open up Apple Greece or are there legal issues / binding contracts with Rainbow?

Posted by: kostas at May 25,2005 09:54
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

See also Related articles to "Rainbow".

Posted by: betabug at June 12,2005 13:28
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

Hey Sascha,

I really sympathize with this story, in fact it's just one more example of how lazy and lax people are here and why Greece will never achieve the economic strength of other EU countries. It's no wonder Apple has no plans to install a store here. If I didn't have a chance to travel outside this country and purchase the things I need, I'd really be frightened of obtaining sales or support assistance from Rainbow.

In fact, the publishing company I work for hires an Apple consultant (who is excellent, by the way) who does all of our purchasing and support. He listens to our needs, determines what hardware or software we require, has it delivered, installs it and tests everything. Dealing with the Apple Store directly always seemed to end in disappointment, either because the salesperson wasn't knowledgeable or just didn't care, or the fulfillment people sent over the wrong stuff.

Going to Rainbow's site at www.rainbow.gr with my DSL connection required quite a bit of time before the page was downloaded, and let's not even talk about their online store at www.applestore.gr...I think I went away and cooked a meal before that was done. But, as you know, this is how things are done in Greece. Going to the post office? Better take the morning off. Going to fix some papers at the local government office? Better ask your boss for the week off (thus, risking your job) and take a Greek friend who can scream louder than you in Greek or pretend he's from the same village as the person "helping" you.

There is a market here for Macs, but I think these people are already well-educated on the product and therefore seek it out regardless of how inept Rainbow is. There are others who consider the possibility of one, but really know nothing about them; but again, these are open-minded, fairly educated people (btw, I give informal demos to people I know with my Mac, and they've purchased one afterward...Rainbow owes me a commission I think ;)). From my experience, most people just want a computer to play games, download some music and look at porn so any simple, cheap PC is just fine.

Glad I found your blog, hang tough.

Cheers

Posted by: Kat at June 23,2006 15:25
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

Interesting and Disappointing. Disappointing for I am looking to purchase one. I am a Greek living abroad 10 years now, but I am still looking for buying my Apple from a Greek distributor, reseller or what have you. "Why?" I hear you say (or rather, scream). Tax return of course! See, I have not cut all relations with mother-land, not yet. To make things even worse for me, I will have to order the fruit-box from Patras (not Athens), so I am looking at resellers/retailers. Any kind of support and information though "official" channels is minimalist. The purchasing procedure though Rainbow is off-putting. I only seem to get information from blogs of disaffected users. I reckon Apple has some legally binding agreement with Rainbow, or have no interest the small potential of the Greek market. Lets face it, how can you penetrate a nation's market when the infrastructure is such that Broadband connections to Internet is more of a luxury than a commodity?

Posted by: Alexandros at July 06,2006 18:42
Re: Slacky Tiger on a Rainbow

As an American and long-time Mac user (1983?) who has been living in Greece for two years now I share all the frustration with Rainbow and the Mac/Greece conundrum. Rainbow is not a Mac store, of course, but simply an "authorized" reseller. You can't even buy from the so-called store, that's for display only. To buy product you need to go nearby to the back of a shoe store (at least that was the situation two years ago) and you can't buy on line without filling out a lengthy contract - in Greek, of course. I've heard the owner is actually a personal friend of Steve Jobs which may explain why they have control of the Greek market. You may notice that Greece is not even on Apple's pull-down menu list of countries with an Apple store. I'd like to purchase the new OS and even some upgraded software from Adobe but it's impossible to find sources here and the UK Apple stores will not deliver to Greece. I see that there is an Apple reseller in Patras (Infosystem?) so we may look into that if we can find a phone number. Meanwhile, I buy from the Apple store in L.A. and have it sent to my son who mails it to me. But, of course, if it's electrical or computer-related Greek customs takes their cut. We've tried speaking to Apple sales about this but they are of little help. Right now we need to exchange a battery on the recall but Rainbow won't do it without a proof of purchase - which Apple says is not required.

And so it goes.

Posted by: USA expat at September 13,2006 09:31
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