Apple’s New computers – Japanese available

When i decided to check tonight, the Apple Store was down. Interestingly, the graphic for Taiwan said  “日本 Taiwan” – those Chinese characters actually mean Japan, not Taiwan.

Maybe there is some sort of Japanese takeover within Apple. Since I could not enter the Taiwan store, but the US store worked, I looked at the specs for the new Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro there. The CPU, graphics, memory, etc. had nothing interesting or unexpected. However, it seems that at least in the US, it is now possible to get a Japanese keyboard and Japanese instruction manual (or English, Spanish or French if you prefer one of those languages). I recall that in the past, only English and “Western Spanish” keyboards were offered. Even the MacBooks are available with keyboards in 4 different languages.

It is strange that if you buy the keyboard separately, you cannot order a keyboard in a language other than English. You only get the choice when you order the keyboard at the same time on the US Apple Store

Anyhow, if I were Japanese, I could fly to the USA and back AND buy a 17” MacBook for less than it would cost to buy the 17” Macbook in Japan.  A 17” MacBook is 318,800 yen ($3253 US at current exchange rates) while the US price is $2799 for the same thing. If only they had this option when I was in Japan. My Powerbook G4 cost hundreds of USD more to buy in Japan than in the US, the only difference being the keyboard. I loved that keyboard, even if many Japanese themselves prefer using a US standard keyboard to do input.

The Japanese option is not available in Taiwan, though I’d like to get a Taiwanese keyboard as a kind of souvenir before I leave. Given that Taiwanese keyboards can be difficult to find even in Hong Kong, I figure it won’t be an option in other Apple stores anytime in the foreseeable future. So the extra money will be somewhat justified.

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