Up until today, Apple customers have only been able to ship products bought via Apple’s online stores to addresses located in the country of the store they’re ordering from. I say up until today because as of now, that’s no longer the case.
Now if you wanted to give your friend in Mexico an iPod for his birthday, all you have to do is opt for Cross Border shopping from Apple.com. There are currently 20 countries available for international delivery.
While the list does include France, Italy, Spain, UK, and Mexico, one notable absence is Canada. I mean, seriously, we’re right here. Mexico gets the nod, but we’re left out in the cold (excuse the pun)? Well, life isn’t fair, and a list of 20 means a lot of other countries are probably feeling left out as well, so I’ll swallow my national pride and move on.
Shopping internationally is easy, but easier if you speak the language of the country you want to ship to, because you have to shop at the international store of your choice in order to place your order. That means you’re also billed in the international currency of the store you’re shopping at, with the conversion rate from USD being determined by your bank at the time of the actual transaction. That means that buying the entry-level Mac mini for your friend in the UK right now would cost you US$735, and I’m not sure how the taxation works on that. Definitely not a way to take advantage of the generally cheaper U.S. pricing.
If you don’t speak the language of the store you want to buy from (say, British, for example), you can call Apple directly and they’ll help you with your order in the language of your choosing. At this time you can only use a credit card to pay. Not sure if this will really catch on in a big way, but there must be some market out there for it if Apple’s already gone and done it.