The Best Laid Plans, Eh? (5/20/04)

We have to admit, sometimes we really feel sorry for you poor, neglected Canucks. After all, you share a continent with Apple's home country and you're just one border-hop away, and yet it seems like you're always left out in the cold. For instance, what's with all this talk about the iTunes Music Store possibly making it all the way to Europe next month, when it hasn't even gotten as far as the Great White North? And what about the international expansion plans for Apple's retail stores? The first non-U.S. shop went not to our neighbors to the north, but rather all the way over to Japan-- and the second one is slated to open in London. What's this blatant snubbing all aboot, eh?

Well, calm down, fellas; as far as the iTMS is concerned, Europe hasn't beaten Canada to the punch just yet-- and besides, even if it does, it may not even be Apple's fault. Who knows what goofiness dictates the speed of licensing music from labels in various countries? And on the retail front, word has it that Apple meant to toss you guys a couple of stores before any of 'em opened overseas; remember those rumors of Apple stores destined for the Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Toronto Eaton Centre? Well, it seems that Apple had originally planned to open those long before the stores in Tokyo and London.

It's like this: faithful viewer David Triska tipped us off to an AppleInsider report claiming that "internal company documents" show Apple's original plan was to launch two Canadian stores by the end of last year, while the Tokyo store wasn't supposed to open until sometime in 2004. And two more Canadian locations (colorfully designated as "Canada 3" and "Canada 4"-- the mind reels) were targeted for grand openings this year. In other words, by all rights, Canada should have been firmly retailified long before Apple started chucking stores at more distant lands.

So what happened? No idea; AI merely states the obvious, which is that Apple's Canadian rollout plans "have either fallen behind schedule or been changed due to unknown reasons." About the only thing we can add that might shed a little light on the subject is something one of our "sources close to the company" recently forwarded us: a memo from Steve Jobs addressed to Tim Cook (executive veep for Worldwide Sales and Operations) and Ron Johnson (senior veep for Retail), dated April 16th of 2003, that said "Some [expletive deleted] with an Ontario plate just cut me off on the highway-- take care of it." Whaddaya think? Could it somehow be related?

On the plus side of the karma equation, though, at least you guys have seen the whole third season of Degrassi, whereas we're still stuck back at "Holiday" for another couple of weeks and dying to see what happens now that Ashley and Manny both know that Craig's been two-timing them. So, you know, it all balances out in the end. Right?

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The above scene was taken from the 5/20/04 episode:

May 20, 2004: Napster beats the iTunes Music Store into the United Kingdom; is it summer already? Meanwhile, rumors indicate that Apple had originally planned to have opened at least two retail stores in Canada by now (but something went awry), and the company's latest quality control scandal is a doozy: when is pink not exactly pink?...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4707: That Tortoise & Hare Thing (5/20/04)   Ooooooo, that's gotta hurt. Hey, everyone, remember a few months back when Napster said it expected to launch its music download service in the UK by "the end of summer"? And remember those recent rumors that Apple expected to launch the iTunes Music Store over there in June, but no later than October...

  • 4709: The End Is Really Darn Nigh (5/20/04)   Disaster has struck! You all know that Apple's quality control hasn't exactly been nonpareil lately, right? Just in the past year, Apple has had to slap together damage control for PowerBook leprosy, flaky iBook logic boards, AirPort updates that nuke network connections, and miniPods that wind up imitating Snap, Crackle, and Pop...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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