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Left hand, meet right hand

By Ton van der Liet, tliet@mac.com, October 26, 2001

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According to the Dutch Web site WebWereld, last Monday Apple Benelux sent out invitations to the Dutch press for a special media event on Thursday, October 25, in Amsterdam.

The media event was to unveil a portable product dealing with digital music as part of the digital lifestyle, according to the invitation. Unfortunately, Apple Benelux apparently forgot that iPod would be unveiled in the United States Tuesday, making the Amsterdam event a bit less enticing.

As embarrassing as that gaffe should have been, it was only the first. Apple also overlooked the fact that on the same day, Microsoft would officially take the wraps off Windows XP. Mere hours after distributing the invitations, Apple retracted them with the comment, “The press event was scheduled at the same time as the press conference from a competitor.”

Regardless of the contents of the announcement, the poor planning on the part of Apple Benelux (or whatever organization actually put this fiasco together) reflects a sad state of affairs for Apple in this part of Europe. It’s not like the Microsoft press conference date was a secret, and once the US date was set for the iPod announcement, there was ample opportunity to align the press announcement schedules. These mistakes certainly should have been preventable.

Ton van der Liet has been working with Apple’s products since 1985. His love for Apple’s products doesn’t always translate to a love for the company itself. He currently works as an IT consultant on a project basis.

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