Apple in China Stories April 28, 2015

Hangzhou Opens Second Apple Store

Pundits have been predicting for several successive quarters that iPhone sales in China would outstrip those in the U.S., and Q2 2015 was when it finally happened, reports Reuters.

Apple […] sold more iPhones in China than the United States for the first time […] increasing its revenue in the country 71 percent to $16.8 billion, although that was helped by gift-buying for Chinese New Year.

Tim Cook said that the iPhone was responsible for the bulk of Apple’s revenue in China, though he did also note that Mac sales were “unbelievable,” up 31% year-on-year. As with other markets, the iPhone is usually the first Apple product people buy, but that brings them into the ecosystem and boosts sales of other products …  expand full story

Apple in China Stories February 19, 2014

Apple’s market share in China started climbing even before China Mobile deal; Russian sales double

While smartphone growth is slowing in China, Apple managed to increase its market share from 6 to 7 percent in the final quarter of 2013, even before the China Mobile deal was struck. IDC figures reported by the WSJ show that Apple is now the fifth largest smartphone seller in the country, behind Samsung, Lenovo, Coolpad and Huawei. Xiaomi sits just behind Apple at 6 percent.

Apple’s share is likely to increase significantly in the current quarter, thanks to finally being sold through China’s largest carrier, China Mobile. The carrier has more than 760M subscribers, and analysts have estimated that the deal will generate between 15M and 30M additional iPhone sales in the course of 2014.

iPhone sales in Russia, meantime, doubled to 1.57M units with a total value of $1B, reports Bloomberg. Apple had struggled to persuade Russian carriers to sell the iPhone due to its high price and laws that forbid carriers from discounting up-front prices in return for signing up to lengthy contracts. After selling through electronics stores, however, three Russian carriers resumed selling iPhones within the past few months.

The so-called BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are of huge importance to Apple now that the U.S. and Europe have reached saturation point. While Apple will never compete in market share with the low-end Android handsets available in these markets, there is still significant growth potential at the high end. In an earlier WSJ interview, Tim Cook said:

I look at the mobile phone market as having three kinds of phones: feature phones, smartphones that function as or are used as feature phones, and real smartphones. I do care about the market share of the last category and you want to be relevant.

The importance of the BRIC markets was illustrated when it was revealed that Apple’s Asian sales had outstripped those of Europe even by Q1 of last year. Next quarter’s China numbers are going to make very interesting reading.

Apple in China Stories January 17, 2014

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” …  expand full story

Apple in China Stories January 15, 2014

In a rare TV interview, Tim Cook described this week’s launch of the iPhone on China Mobile as “a watershed day” for the company. While the soft-spoken Apple CEO is noted for the humbleness with which he speaks, it’s hard to imagine him describing Apple as being “honored” to do business with many other companies.

I’m so honored to be doing business with … China Mobile. It’s a huge announcement…we’re incredibly impressed with them, we have deep respect for them, and have had from the very first discussion that we’ve had together” …  expand full story

Apple in China Stories December 23, 2013

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After the fall in Apple’s stock value when the China Mobile failed to materialise as expected on 18th December, yesterday’s news that the deal had finally been concluded sent the stock shooting back up again, having climbed more than 3 percent at the time of writing (it was up 4% in pre-market trading but has settled).

With the WSJ having reported that 18th December was the day, the market was clearly jittery when nothing materialized. Everything had appeared to be in place: regulatory approval, Apple putting the handsets on sale in China on the opening weekend, China Mobile posters, a pre-order website, in-store displays – and 4G service up-and-running on schedule …  expand full story

Apple in China Stories December 3, 2013

With the iPhone launch on the biggest carrier in the world’s most populated market confirmed for 18th DecemberFortune spotted what appears to have been a soft launch in the city of Suzhou. The city is one of the richest in China, so would be a logical place for an early launch.

The attached screen grab comes from a website owned by a subsidiary of China Mobile Limited in Suzhou, a city of 5 million just west of Shanghai.

The site went live late Monday local time, when it began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C …  expand full story

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