china October 19

AAPL: 111.73

Stock Chart

Apple has announced the grand opening of its latest retail store in China, this one in the city of Dalian, a major port and financial center. The store opens at 9.30am on Saturday 24th October.

The store, located in the six-storey Parkland Mall shown above and below, has been a long time coming. It was first announced way back in 2012, when the mall boasted that it would be “Apple’s World’s Biggest Flagship Store.” That claim is almost certainly out of date now, with the Dubai store set to open later this month rumored to be taking that title, but it is still likely to be one of the largest stores in the world …  expand full story

china October 14

AAPL: 110.21

Stock Chart

After debuting the Apple TV 4 with San Francisco-themed video screensavers, Apple has added some new videos to the queue, including flyover footage of central London (above) and the Great Wall of China (below). Both are found within the Aerial screensavers section, but you can’t specifically choose them, the device just loops the ones Apple pushes to it …  expand full story

china October 10

AAPL: 112.12

Stock Chart

It was discovered by Larry Salibra and others that Apple has been disabling its Apple News Service in China. Perhaps most troubling is how Apple is doing this:

They’re censoring news content that I downloaded and stored on my device purchased in the USA, before I even enter China just because my phone happens to connect to a Chinese signal floating over the border. On device censorship is much different than having your server blocked by the Great Firewall or not enabling a feature for customers with certain country iTunes account. That Apple has little choice doesn’t make it any less creepy or outrageous.

The New York Times reports that Apple confirmed, off the record, that it is indeed turning off Apple News in Mainland China.

Apple has disabled its news app in China, according to a person with direct knowledge of the situation, the most recent sign of how difficult it can be for foreign companies to manage the strict rules governing media and online expression there. Customers who already downloaded the app by registering their phones in the United States can still see content in it when they travel overseas — but they have found that it does not work in China. Those in China who look at the top of the Apple News feed, which would normally display a list of selected articles based on a user’s preferred media, instead see an error message: “Can’t refresh right now. News isn’t supported in your current region.”

China is Apple’s most promising market but unfortunately it is controlled by a government that wields total control over information and the media. Simply removing the news App might be better than upsetting Beijing.  Google famously ran afoul of the Chinese government in 2010 after sustaining a state-sponsored hacking attack on its Windows computers and was effectively kicked out of the country. Only in the past few months have attempts been made to mend the bridges.  Apple certainly doesn’t want to hurt its cash cow over censorship. From a PR perspective, it probably doesn’t want to hand the reigns over to Beijing either.

I don’t expect this to change soon.  expand full story


china October 9

AAPL: 112.12

Stock Chart

While research firms IDC and Gartner disagree on whether Mac sales are falling or rising, they do agree on two things: Q3 Mac sales were at their most sluggish for two years, but still well ahead of the rest of the PC industry.

Ahead of new retina 4K iMac and likley accessories launch next week, IDC estimated that Apple sold 5.3M Macs in Q3 2015, a year-on-year fall of 3.4%. Gartner instead estimated 5.6M sales, representing a 1.5% increase. Both firms did, however, agree on two pieces of good news for Apple …  expand full story

china September 29

AAPL: 109.06

Stock Chart

Apple today announced via a press release that its Apple Music, iTunes Movies, and iBooks services are now available to customers in China. The company says that Apple Music is launching in China with “millions” of songs, including local artists like Eason Chan, Li Ronghao, JJ Lin and G.E.M, as well as international stars like Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

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With Apple having announced all-time record iPhone sales, you might have expected analysts and investors to be impressed, and to see the AAPL share price rise as a result. Instead, the stock is actually down a little – so what gives?

The answer, like the one to so many questions today, is: China. This is the first iPhone launch where mainland China, and not just Hong Kong, has been included from day one. This means the opening weekend sales of 13M versus 10M last year aren’t like-for-like.

Apple hasn’t revealed what percentage of iPhone sales were made in China, but we can do some back-of-an-envelope sums to get a rough idea …  expand full story


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