Byting Japan

Apple Computer shows how to crack the world's toughest consumer-electronics market

EXECUTIVES AT APPLE COMputer's Japanese subsidiary are still laughing about the time a shipping-company employee drove up in a refrigeration truck to pick up crates filled with Macintosh computers. He had seen the company's rainbow- hued apple logo on the boxes and assumed they contained fresh produce. The irony was fitting: in the first few years after the 1983 entry of Apple into Japan's $7 billion personal-computer market, its Macintoshes, unsold, were gathering dust on the shelves of computer shops in Japan.

If Apple staff members in Japan can laugh today, it is because the company has succeeded in dramatically reversing...

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