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China’s gold consumption suggests Apple Watch Edition is aimed at China, says Om Malik


China’s voracious appetite for gold suggests that this might be the key market for the solid gold Apple Watch Edition, says former GigaOM founder Om Malik.

There is a love affair between the Chinese and gold jewelry. The gold consumption in that country is going through the roof. (In 2014, the worldwide consumption of gold fell and yet, China demand still stayed strong.) […]

Some believe that the Apple Watch Edition (the expensive kind) will find more takers in China than anywhere else in the world.

It has previously been suggested that it was Asia, and China in particular, which drove the successful decision to start offering iPhones, iPads and now the new MacBook in a gold color.

China is of course a huge market for Apple, the company’s revenues there rising from $12.7B in 2011 to almost $30B last year. Year-on-year revenue growth in China was 17% last year, more than double the growth in Europe and four times that of the Americas.

Apple last year announced plans to increase the number of Apple Stores in China from 15 to 40 in two years, six of them since opened. Retail head Angela Ahrendts listed an emphasis on the country as one of her three key goals.

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  1. luckydcxx - 8 years ago

    I agree that China has an obsession with gold but I don’t think the Apple Watch Edition is aimed at that market. I think it is for celebrities and the very wealthy.

    I can justify spending 15k on a very good watch but not one that will be outdated in 3 years. You really have to have money to throw away to buy this.

    • PMZanetti - 8 years ago

      Clearly you know absolutely nothing about China.

      • luckydcxx - 8 years ago

        I am Chinese, so I know a little something about it.

      • PMZanetti - 8 years ago

        The amount of wealthy people in China is staggering. Its a small % of the population, but percentages are just that. The sheer numbers of people in China with more money than sense is constantly astounding international retailers, and the amount of completely useless expensive crap that can be sold there is nothing short of…astounding. China is the primary market for their love of gaudy senseless purchases and the astounding number of individuals who fit that demographic.

  2. Toro Volt (@torovolt) - 8 years ago

    The Watch Edition is clearly a decoy Product. Apple is not seriously expecting to sell many of them.
    It serves mostly 3 purposes.
    1. Make the “real” models look affordable (An old marketing technique)
    2. Helps to associate the A Watch with Jewelry and Premium Fashionable product. (If Apple could get the Watch Edition in Museums they would have do so too)
    3. Generate buzz for free, just like this Blogging Site with this post.

    Even if nobody buys the few A Watch Edition Apple ordered, it would be a more cost effective marketing campaign than spending millions in traditional media advertising.

  3. PMZanetti - 8 years ago

    Obviously the product is aimed at anyone that would be interested in paying 10-20k for a Watch. I think it best for tech bloggers to just take a back seat on this one, stop pretending like you’re familiar with or understand that market, and just let Apple do its thing. They will sell a relatively small amount of these every year, with unbelievably huge revenue and profits from them.

  4. Dave Huntley - 8 years ago

    I don’t think there was any doubt that many of the features and offerings, decried in western media, are actually aimed at Asian buyers. They covet gold, features like matching heartbeats will go over very well, the larger numbers of nouveau riche there are very likely to spend 10K on a watch for 3 years, look what they spend on cars.

    Apple has more than likely done it’s home work. if you have spent any time in Asia you know they look for more than just price, they look for value. That means different things to many, however being a new product, being a quality product and having features aimed at that market means that it is a recipe for success. The iPhone, often Japan’s best selling phone, despite all the local competition, has with it’s styling cues a very Japanesque look.. it’s not just about the processor, it’s about appealing to customers. The list goes on.

    If you have never shopped out of a Walmart, you will never understand that foreigners ARE different from you. Companies get this right will do well, and it is no secret that Apple is incredibly China focused. Unlike the most populous country in the world, the second most has lots of customers, but more important, they have lots of money to spend too – thanks to all those Walmart shoppers for making them rich!

  5. Um, WHAT? China is buying Gold and has recently instructed their citizens to buy Gold as a hedge against US currency manipulation and the coming derivatives bubble crash. It has nothing to do with liking Gold. #smdh


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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