Apple Japan looks to beef up business presence

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Eiko Harada, president of Apple Japan, told NikkeiBP interviewers that the company plans on beefing up its business presence and lure new users.

Like its North American counterpart, Apple Japan is working to attract Windows users. Harada said that they had previously used a "pull-type" marketing strategy that asked folks to come to them for info, but are now going to a "push-type" model so that Apple Japan can "actively provide information to users."

"This means our sales team will visit companies directly," Harada said. "The team has only a small number of members now, so we plan to increase them."

Harada said that even though Apple may be regarded as a consumer-oriented company (because of the iMac's popularity in that market), Apple Japan is working to build its presence in the business environment. Last month Apple established an "Apple Store for Business " at the Apple online store. Customers can pay for an application, receive consulting on solutions, negotiate with Apple on quantity discounts, and more, according to Harada.

"We have increased the number of telemarketing staff and received an increasing number of inquiries," he said.

The company is also working to make sure that Mac users can take advantage of electronic filings and applications. Harada said that they're "appealing to the authorities so that Macintosh will be a reliable client machine to be used for electronic administration."

In mentioning the numerous products announced during this month's Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, Harada said that the 12-inch PowerBook G4 answers lots of requests from Japanese users as it provides a "powerful mobile office." And although Apple Japan plans to begin shipping the PowerBook at the end of the month, they may run short "because of its high popularity," he said.

This story, "Apple Japan looks to beef up business presence" was originally published by PCWorld.

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