Pascal Cagni, Apple vice president and general manager for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, did in an interview with Katie Allen of the Guardian. Speaking after Apple’s earnings report for the fourth fiscal quarter, Cagni was optimistic on the Mac in Europe, guarded about the iPod, and enigmatic about “surprises” in the future.
Questioned on Apple’s success in Europe during the recession, Cagni responded that the Mac is “typically above 20-25 [percent] market share in each of the countries.” That’s about twice the market share in the U.S., and you have to wonder how the numbers add up to worldwide figures that put the Mac under 5 percent. Still, at Monday’s conference call, it was noted that Mac growth was around 40 percent in Spain, Germany and France, so the Mac is doing very well indeed in Europe. Less so, the iPod.
On declining sales, Cagni stated that Apple needs “to carry the message out there much better” regarding the new iPod nano, and that the decline has not yet hit Europe. Again, this is in keeping with comments from the conference call, in which it was stated that the iPod is gaining market share year over year in nearly every country tracked. While Apple does not break out iPod sales by geographic region, 40 percent of all revenue comes from North America, so it would seem then that the decline is largely in the U.S. It’s possible the iPod has hit a saturation point, though another possibility would be cannibalization of iPod sales by the iPhone.
As for the iPhone, the question was whether multiple carriers in the UK will affect pricing in the future. Again, the response lined up with the conference call. Apple does not “dictate” price. Personally, I wonder if AT&T feels that way.
Besides a non-response to the Beatles for Christmas at the iTunes Store — “nothing to announce” — the most interesting comment was another oblique reference to new products in 2010. While Apple executives routinely talk about the great and mysterious “product pipeline,” chief Steve Jobs elevated that hype in Apple’s press release for the fourth fiscal quarter. Cagni echoed that in the interview:
And guess what, as Steve stated, we are going to continue to surprise you in the year to come.
It doesn’t take 20 questions to get to the tablet, the only question now is when?