Apple to grow retail stores in China from 15 to 40 within two years, says Cook

shanghai-apple-store

Tim Cook noted during Monday’s earnings call that Apple was “investing like crazy” in China, but he took the opportunity of his current visit to the country to put a specific number on the company’s retail expansion plans: it will open 25 new Apple Stores in Greater China within the next two years. Greater China includes both Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Speaking to local media, Cook also said that China would in time become Apple’s biggest market, reports the WSJ …  Read more

Tim Cook shares ‘deepest sympathies’ and makes $1.6m donation following Yunnan, China earthquake

Cook

In an email to employees, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared his “deepest sympathies” to the people of Yunnan, China after the region was struck by a disastrous earthquake this past weekend. The earthquake took the lives of 589 people and caused the relocation of over 200,000 people, according to reports. Here’s Cook’s internal memo to employees, which was provided by a source:

Team,

Our deepest sympathies go out to the people of China’s Yunnan Province, which was struck by a devastating 6.5-magnitude earthquake over the weekend. Nearly 600 people died and over 2400 were injured in the worst earthquake to hit the region in 100 years. Rescuers have evacuated 230,000 people who are now displaced from their homes. The road to Longtoushan Township, the epicenter of the quake, has been blocked by landslides, making the rescue effort there even more challenging. Apple is eager to help. We are making a financial donation in support of the work of Mercy Corps and CFPA (China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation) to get supplies and relief to those affected by the earthquake and to help them through the process of healing and recovery. The tragedy in Yunnan Province is on the minds of many in the Apple community. Apple has over 6500 employees in China and Hong Kong as well as a growing developer community and deep ties to the workers in our supply chain who make Apple products. In this time of tragedy, our thoughts are with the victims and their families.

Tim

Cook says that Apple will be making a monetary donation to groups that provide relief efforts for those hurt by the earthquake and its ramifications. Reports indicate that the donation is worth 10 million Yuan, which converts to just over $1.6 million. Cook also notes that Apple has deep ties to the area as Apple has over 6500 employees in China, many third-party developers, and family members of supply chain personnel. Apple has also posted a message on its China homepage:

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Apple’s Volume Purchase Program for apps coming soon to 16 new countries

Volume-Purchase-Program

Apple is about to roll out its Volume Purchase Program, which allows business and education customers to purchase and distribute iOS apps in bulk for deployed devices, into 16 new countries. Apple’s website for both the Volume Purchase Program for Business and for Education have been updated to announce the expansion and now list the following countries as coming soon to the program: Read more

Apple shares video of last week’s Pride Parade, showing support for equality and diversity

Just over a week ago, thousands of Apple employees, including CEO Tim Cook, took to the streets of San Francisco to take part in the Pride Parade. The company has not been hesitant to share its views on LGBT rights, and the parade was yet another instance of that. This evening, Apple uploaded a video to its official YouTube channel showing off all of the effort that went into the Pride Parade last week and its “unwavering” support for equality and diversity.

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China Mobile iPhone launch could lead to subsidy wars, say analysts

Image: thenextweb.com

Image: thenextweb.com

Analysts say that the official launch of the iPhone on China Mobile could lead to subsidy wars as Chinese carriers compete to attract buyers. The predictions, quoted by Business Insider, follow price cuts by rival carriers China Unicom and China Telecom as China Mobile reports 1.2 million pre-orders.

China Mobile is currently offering the iPhone 5s free with a 24-month contract costing the equivalent of $98 a month. A 30-month contract on China Unicom costs $63 a month.

I do think you’re going to see a subsidy war coming,” said Michael Clendenin, managing director of Shanghai-based RedTech Advisors. “China Mobile, if they’re not making their targets on sales for these phones, they’re going to increase the subsidies […] It’s like airlines: the other guys will fall like dominoes, so China Unicom will do it and China Telecom will do it” …  Read more

Apple Asia online stores offer deals on iPhones, iPads, & Macs for Lunar New Year sale

 

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Earlier this week we told you that Apple had announced an upcoming sale in many of its Asian online stores to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year taking place at the end of January. The sales see Apple offering discounts in China, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Malaysia online stores similar to deals on offer for Black Friday in the US and other countries.

This year Apple is offering cash discounts on the usual products— up to $40 off iPads, $100 off Macs, and smaller discounts on iPods and Smart Covers— it’s also offering a rare discount on iPhones at around $50 off both the iPhone 5s and 5c. In addition, a much larger selection of accessories are on sale compared to the company’s Black Friday sale including popular products from Parrot, Apogee, Belkin, LaCie, and Apple.

China Mobile launch for iPhone as good as confirmed for 18th December [Update: It’s official]

iPhone-5-China

Image: appadvice.com

Update: The Chinese government has now confirmed this date.

The iPhone looks set to be launched by China Mobile – the biggest carrier in the world’s biggest country – on Wednesday 18th December, reports the WSJ. While neither the carrier nor Apple have made a definitive announcement, China Mobile has said this is the date it will “introduce a new brand.”

The launch is expected during the company’s 4G global partners conference in Guangzhou, according to China Mobile’s website. An executive at the world’s largest mobile operator has said it is ready to start fourth-generation mobile services, though China has yet to issue 4G licenses. In September, China’s Telecom Equipment Certification Center gave Apple Inc.the final license necessary for the iPhone to run on China Mobile’s network …  Read more

Apple TD-LTE job listing serves as additional confirmation for China Mobile iPhone

China Mobile cell tower

While a possible deal with China Mobile, one of the world’s largest telecoms, was rumored for quite sometime leading up to launch of the new iPhones, the company said in August that it was still working out “commercial and technical issues” with Apple. Today, Bloomberg points us to an Apple job listing in China that provides some evidence that the company is indeed preparing to launch the iPhone on the carrier’s network:

The manager, who will be based in Beijing, will “support and drive the carrier approval of mobile phones,” Apple said in an advertisement on its China website. The position seeks experience with TD-SCDMA, China Mobile’s own third-generation standard that isn’t used by other carriers.

On top of TD-SCDMA, the job listing is also seeking an engineer with experience in TD-LTE, which is the LTE standard that China Mobile has quickly been rolling out. Back in August the often reliable KGI analyst Mingchi Kuo claimed that Apple was ramping up TD-LTE supported iPhone 5c production and estimated that the iPhone 5s and 5c on China Mobile could account for penetration of 25% and 35% of total shipments for the two devices. Currently the carrier has approximately 756 million subscribers, around 63% of the 1.2 billion wireless subscribers in China. Read more

iPhone 5s stock in China sells out almost instantly, suggesting supply is low for rest of world

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Unlike the rest of the world, China and Hong Kong can reserve the iPhone 5s starting today. However, just minutes after the phone became available, most models and colors sold out across the country.

At the time of writing, only the 16 GB ‘space grey’ SKU’s remain available for reservation. All other models have sold out and are “currently unavailable” according to the online store. Sina reported on the phenomenon, noting that the gold model, in particular, was in high demand… Read more

Flurry of new Apple Stores on the way in Japan, France, China, Brazil & Italy

tokyo

Tokyo skyline: vacationadvice101.com

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple is planning its first new store in Tokyo since 2005.

Apple plans to open a store in Tokyo’s upscale Omotesando shopping district as early as March, according to a person familiar with the plans.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by February, the person said, asking not to be identified because they aren’t authorized to speak for Apple.

Tokyo is noted for its high land values. Bloomberg estimating the cost of the land at around $164M with the finished store expected to be worth a staggering $256M …  Read more