Once upon a time, there was a smart guy at Harvard named Facebook. He had more friends than anyone he knew, but still felt alone. When his friends left the house, he would sit all alone in the darkness of powered down PCs and Macs, longing for a way to experience life as it happened, not hearing it retold later. Then, in 2007, Facebook met a beautiful girl named iPhone. She was spontaneous, popular, and portable- everything a social media site could ever dream of. Most of all, they were perfectly compatible. Through a whirlwind love affair, their out-of-wedlock child Facebook App was born. And unlike you, their lovechild was a better development than either parent could have imagined (oh no she didn’t).
“It’s a boy!”
Image courtesy of AppStorm
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and CEO, certainly got to see his fair share of success during his lifetime. Within the past five years, largely due to the outrageous popularity of the iPhone series debuted in 2007, Apple has been catapulted into the hearts and wallets of Western consumers. Along with Apple being the second biggest public company, it is the world’s third largest mobile phone producer.
“Man is born free, and everywhere he is in my chains.” –Steve Jobs (presumably)
Image courtesy of Norebbo
Though it seems American’s have become a culture of iRobots, Eastern Europe is still an underdeveloped market for Apple. According to Asymco.com, in 2012 the Americas accounted for 37% of Apple sales, possessing 69% of the worlds Apple stores. By comparison Europe accounted for only 23% of Apple sales and possessed 22% of the stores. To put that lack of presence into perspective, until September of 2011, the Czech Republic didn’t even have an official Apple web store, nonetheless a physical store anywhere in the country besides their shady iStyle “Apple Premium Reseller” boutiques, which overprices the 64GB iPhone 5 by 6,608.20 Kč, or $334.31. Macrumors.com reports “The new (web)store allow users to purchase directly from Apple, offering standard Apple pricing for the markets and integration with Apple sales and support services.”
Confetti won’t appease the fact that it was about damn time.
Image courtesy of Jablickar.cz
Is there a way to predict the success rate of Apple’s attempts at globalization? Just ask its son-in-law, Facebook. Recent reports comparing the number of Facebook members per country in 2010 and 2012 show usage to be on the rise in many Central and Eastern European countries like Romania, The Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Turkey. Supplemental to that, new studies show that in the US, contrary to when the site was first introduced to the public, Facebook usage is now primarily driven by Smartphone users rather than PC users. By 2015, it is predicted that all internet will primarily be accessed through smartphones over PCs. It seems that for the moment, Facebook and iPhone’s happy marrige will be a driving factor in both of their successes. As more and more Central and Eastern Europeans experiment with and become addicted to the cocaine that is Facebook, they begin experiencing withdrawal leaving home without being connected. This will drive up the demand for the Facebook App, thus increasing iPhone sales to these countries exponentially, possibly inciting Apple to fund the building of Flagship Apple stores all over Central/Eastern Europe to cater to the newly addicted.
Through iPhone, the Facebook App could potentially act as a gateway app, leading to increased Central/Eastern European’s consumption of other hard social media sites like Twitter and Instagram, where they are currently underrepresented. As American’s were already well aware of, once you go App, you’ll never go back. I’m not sure when this love story turned into a drug analogy, but they still lived happily ever after. The End.