Has Apple switched from Imperial to Metric in bid to win Chinese market?

Karen Haslam
15 September, 2012
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It’s just struck us as odd that during the keynote presentation yesterday Apple appeared to go Metric.

Being an American company Apple normally gives measurements in Imperial inches and pounds. We’re used to having to look up the metric equivalents – millimetres and grams. Well when watching the keynote we didn’t have to do any such calculations. The only time Apple mentioned inches was when talking about the length of the screen, and traditionally even we metric people talk inches when we discuss display sizes.

So why has Apple made the switch to metric?

One reason could be the need to appeal to countries other than the US, and I’m not talking about the UK and Europe, but places like China where there is a massive untapped market that Apple is looking to win over. Yes, like Europe, China, and Hong Kong, use Metric measurements along side an ancient standard of weights.


Another reason could be that when talking about such incremental differences in measurements, saying something is 2mm thinner, for example, is easier than saying it is 0.079 inches thinner. Perhaps switching to Metric is a good idea and others should follow Apple’s example.

Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty noted Apple’s interest in the country that has a population of more than 1.3 billion, saying that Apple’s China-specific features are “significant investments” and clarifying that Apple’s focus on reaching the Chinese market is “key to long-term growth.”


2 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. B Sharp says:

    For the record, according to Siri, 4 inches is 101.6mm.

  2. Sandy Barrie says:

    American has never been in Imperial Measure… America kept the measurements the English commonwealth had in 1776… England brought in Imperial in 1827, in an failed attempt to make their measure divisible into the new French measure ‘Metric’..

    this is why the American Gallon is 20% shorter than the present English Imperial Gallon. there is not much difference in the Inch measure. only .00002 in it. but still not the same. (there was a wonderful popular mechanics article on this in the 1950′s)

    Sandy Barrie

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