iPod Back On French Shelves, Apple Claims 20% Of European Digital Music Market, & More Dutch Awa

iPod back in French shops

Apple has fixed the sound issues that prevent the iPod from being sold in France. As reported earlier this week, the iPodis maximum sound level (104dB) exceeded French health limits, which limit portable music players to an output of 100dB. Apparently, Apple designed the iPod to conform to EU regulations, but was unaware of the stricter French health laws.

After calling back all iPods from resellers and thoroughly testing the iPod (and coming up with the same results as the French government), Apple updated its entire inventory of iPods to conform to French regulations. The Apple online store, which continued to sell the iPod, delayed delivery until appropriate measures were taken.

All iPod models that will go on sale in shops next week will have been "legalized" through a firmware update. Finally, French owners of the old, "illegal" iPod will be able to download a firmware update from Appleis Web-site that lowers the sound volume. The update is expected to be available on October 8th.

At the same time, Apple France released some remarkable sales data for the iPod. In the nine months since it was launched, the iPod managed to grab 20% of the digital music player market in Europe and France. With the new Windows-compatible models and the availability of gnuPod for Linux, the iPod is shaping up to be a crossover success for Cupertino. All of this bodes very well for the future of Appleis first non-Macintosh product since the Newton.

Irony, thy name is iPod

Just at the time that Apple was experiencing difficulties with the iPod in France, the Dutch consumer guide Consumentengids gave the iPod a "best on test" award. The iPod won the prize not only because of its design, capacity, speed and user interface, but also because it was the only portable music player that delivered acceptable sound quality when piped through a hi-fi system. Apple already received several awards in the Netherlands this year, including several design awards and a "best laptop" award from the Dutch version of PC Magazine. Additionally, the iMac was nominated for "Outstanding Product of the Year" by the readers of Dutch industry magazine Computer Reseller News. Weill have to wait until November 6 to see if Apple gets that award too, though.

Apple Web-site Tidbits

Apple Germany has published an article on the use of WebObjects at Deutsche Bank. Germanyis biggest bank uses Appleis application services environment to power its online banking service. The article is fairly technical, and concentrates on Deutsche Bankis migration from WebObjects 4.5 to the Java-based WebObjects 5 suite.

Apple U.K. put up an interview with Stephen Hephel, the education adviser to British P.M. Tony Blair and the brains behind the Notschool project. The project, which is supported by Apple, the BBC and Oracle amongst others, aims to provide learning to students that have trouble getting a traditional education for a number of personal or logistical problems.

TMO offers a regular round-up of Apple-related news from Europe, courtesy of the editor of our European Desk, Tom Terryn.