Macintosh International

Source: Gartner Group, "Evolution of a Computer," video (1983).
Location: M1007, Apple Computer Inc. Papers, Series 14.

About This Feature

This feature (the sixth in the "Evolution of a Computer" series) discusses plans for marketing the Macintosh overseas, especially in Europe. It explains how the Macintosh's product design avoids nationally-specific symbols, and its software will be easy to customize for other national markets.


(London, England)

Voice-over: London, England, considered the international business mecca of the world. And because of its language, and its location in Europe, it's often the gateway for many American businesses. As a result, those businesses, large and small, are recognizing a need for international computing capabilities. Apple computers belives its Macintosh is the answer.

(Apple co-founder Steve Jobs)

Steve Jobs: Macintosh is the first computer to embody a new type of breakthrough. It's going to mean for the first time that there can be international software. Software written in French can be marketed in America; software written in America can be marketed all throughout Europe-- in the local language.

(Screen shot of Macintosh)

Voice-over: Apple arrived at that by designing Macintosh to be an international computer from the very start-- accessible to many different countries, many different languages.

Apple representative: What we're trying to do with Macintosh is take away yet another barrier to usage of personal computers in international markets; and that is, making them in their languages.

(Macintosh computer)

Voice-over: That is, by making the physical box of Macintosh universal: on the outside, there is nothing to identify the computer as being U.S.-made. Instead, symbols much like the international driving symbols are used. Only the keyboards will be changed to fit the different countries.

What makes the difference is the software. Due to a new approach in software design, translating programs is much easier. What once took three months takes three short hours. And this opens up opportunities in the international market for software developers.

Apple representative: With many products, Europe lags a little bit [behind] the U.S. The personal computer industry is no exception. What we've found in Europe is that there's a whole class of user out there, and I think it's more pronounced in Europe in some ways, those users who really don't see what a personal computer can do for them. Perhaps they're a little timid, they're a little afraid.

We think the technology of Macintosh directly addresses that user and meets their needs, and I think that technology will open the market up in Europe.

Voice-over: And in the United States, and in Australia, and in many other countries to follow, Macintosh may very well be the first truly international computer.

(Apple CEO John Scully)

John Scully: It's not just a hardware product, it's a software and hardware product. And that's probably one of the big differences between Macintosh and any other personal computer that's in the mainstream of the market today, whether it's in this country or abroad.

Document created on 6 June 2000;