Apple has the advantage of having (a list of) stores who are 'Premium Resellers' and only get that title because they apply Apple's rules. So it is easy to 'ship' hardware. I however have never seen an add from apple on the TV. I have seen ad's about there
products from other companiers, or even better, seen ad about "SMS 'win now' to 5847 to win an Iphone" ad.
For the iPhone launch they picked one of the worst Belgian mobile providers. And did not let anybody else sell them, alltough Belgium did not allow locked phones by law back then. (So the phones are unlocked and you can change the carrier, but only one carrier
was allowed to sell them...)
Somehow the iTunes Gift cards did find there way into every medium to large shop we have in belgium. Right next to the prepaid phone cards.
Doesn't matter how 'bad' Apple. Their iPod was faster available in Europe than the Zune. Same with iTunes.