As all the geeks in France, I was following this morning the release of the new Freebox, alias the Freebox Revolution.
I won't digress on all the stunning innovation Free brought.
What was at least as interesting for me was that introduction reinforced once again my (happy) feeling that we have at least one "Applesian" company in France, and it's Free.
This morning the comparison was more than ever.

Free created the buzz by letting NO information filtering prior the release.
The release was made "a-la-Cupertino" with a keynote full of live bloggers and journalists.
Xavier Niel, the French Steve Jobs, seemed to have the same sense of "WOAHING" the audience in a quite millimetered presentation.
For the first time, the product mix the great technological innovation with a "real" effort on industrial design.
And the new home page following the release uses all the tricks we've been seeing for years on : big fonts, clear messages, interviews of the protagonists in video (Paul Otellini, CEO of Intel !)

For years Free looks a lot like Apple on the corporate side (vertical integration, technical expertise, Chief as the main product manager...) ...
Today they played well the Communication part of Apple's recipe.

I can't wait to see the Advertising campaign to see whether they will keep on that comparison : "product focused commercials", anyone ?