Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Three mistakes Apple have made with the UK market

Posted on 26 March 2007 Comments

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Everyone knows how much I love Macs and all things Apple, but even the most ardent fan-boy should be able to step back and cast a critical eye on occasion; and especially here in the UK, that time is most definitely now. Apple have recently made 3 key mistakes in the UK market:


2. Apple TV
4. The Mitchell and Webb UK Mac ads
6. Mighty Mouse

01. Apple TV

It’s quite amazing how slowly the news is spreading that this device is essentially useless in the UK. “if it’s on iTunes, it’s on TV,” say Apple. But hang on – in the UK we can only get music and music videos on the iTMS. No movies. No TV shows. So if playing music through your TV is pretty much your only option, why not do it through the stereo?!? Now there’s a thought. Ok ok, it’s got a lovely interface and all that – Apple have come up trumps once again – but it looks like you can’t even play your illegally downloaded other videos through Apple TV. In fact, nothing outside of your ‘movies’ folder, either. Poor show…

02. The Mitchell and Webb UK Mac ads


Peep Show is a good programme. Mitchell and Web are competent comedians. But oh dear, what a terrible bit of miscasting. The series’ character Mark (David Mitchell, PC) is a geek, but he’s kind of cuddly and lovable in a pathetic kind of way, right? Whereas Jeremy (Robert Webb, Mac) is an arrogant, smug wanker. Unfortunately, because Peep Show is how these actors are best known in this country, these character traits are deeply ingrained into ‘PC’ and ‘Mac’. In fact, even without prior knowledge of his Peep Show personality, Webb is quite sickeningly smug in pretty much every one of these adverts, and all he’s done is reinforce the stereotype that Mac users are pretentious gits, and PC vs. Mac discussions I’ve had in pubs throughout London quite clearly demonstrate that PC users have a new (and legitimate?) reason not to ‘switch.’

UPDATE: A similar article by Charlie Brooker has been drawn to my attention, which you may find interesting.

03. Mighty Mouse

Ok, number 3 is in no way UK-specific, but let’s take a moment to reflect on the incredibly poor build of the Shite-y Mouse. And although I own a wireless one at home and a wired one at work, I’m not averse to telling just about everyone how crap that scroll wheel is. Don’t get me wrong – when it works, it’s great, but how many times has yours broken since you’ve had it? Go on, be honest. Well, both of my models have either stopped scrolling up or down (it’s usually one direction at a time) at various points; thankfully, if you didn’t already know how, there’s a way to solve the problem: Take the mouse in your hand, and vigorously move the scroll nipple up and down very quickly. And if it’s not feeling perky after that, well, you’re doing it wrong, man.

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