Installed in France for 40 years, Apple decided to strengthen its presence in France with the opening of an Apple Music radio studio in Paris. Located on the Champs-Élysées, it is the first of its kind in continental Europe.
Apple’s story began on April 1, 1976, but it took until 1981 to see “A small sales team” bring Apple France to life. The apple brand, like its expansion in the rest of the world, has since continued to develop its activities in France. The Californian firm now has 2,700 employees in the country and 20 Apple Stores, its largest network in continental Europe. “France occupies a special place in my heart”, explains Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, in a press release. It is the French Jean-Louis Gassée who directed the French subsidiary between 1981 and 1985, before joining the Cupertino offices and moving away in 1990. He returned last year to his experience within the firm Californian, recalling in passing that“Apple France [était] became the company’s most successful business unit outside of the United States ”.
Forty years later, Europe remains the second most important market behind the USA for the American giant. And France occupies a special place. On the side of Cupertino, it is readily mentioned that the history of the company “Is marked by a common passion” with the French “For fields at the crossroads of art and technology”. France and Paris have also hosted Apple Expo for many years, one of Apple’s most important trade shows and the European equivalent of Macworld Expo.
To celebrate its four decades in our region, the American giant has decided to set up its first Apple Music radio studio in continental Europe in Paris. This will open its doors (the date has not yet been specified) on the Champs-Élysées and will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to create “Original local content ”, Like the four other production studios located in Los Angeles, New York, Nashville (birthplace of country music) and London.
Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder, at the 1998 Apple Expo in Paris. © Apple
The American company specifies that it has asked the animators of Apple Music Mehdi Maïzi and T-Miss to welcome “The biggest names in French music” and evokes its ambition to offer “A springboard for emerging talents”. The studio will be used to record audio shows and long format interviews of the brand’s programs, as well as radio shows which will be hosted by artists. There will be a DJ booth and a Space Audio listening booth for artists. “Every time I go there [en France], I am inspired by this welcoming, dynamic and deeply creative community of artists and developers. I am delighted to celebrate 40 years of Apple in France with our local teams and the customers and communities they serve ”, says Tim Cook.
40 years of presence in France … and a mixed history
Despite this declaration of love to France from the Californian firm, gray areas surround the history of Apple in France. Last year, the Competition Authority sanctioned Apple to the tune of 1.1 billion euros for its business practices deemed unfair. In 2019, the company also had to settle its accounts with the French tax authorities. Finally, the Apple is in the sights of the Paris Commercial Court for its commercial practices concerning the App Store. In 2018, the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, announced that the State was going to sue Apple and Google before the Paris Commercial Court for “Abusive commercial practices”. For this, the authorities nevertheless needed a complainant: the France Digitale association agreed to play this role.