Hong Kong Stories August 15

AAPL: 161.60

1.75

Apple’s generous returns policy is one of its real strengths, giving new customers the confidence to buy an expensive product in the knowledge that they can return it for a full refund within 14 days for any reason or no reason at all. But a change introduced today adopts a far stricter approach in Hong Kong …

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Hong Kong Stories December 16, 2015

AAPL: 111.34

0.85

Apple extending iconic Hong Kong store to a third floor, new space opening soon

While Apple may be rolling out new stores in mainland China at a rapid rate, it isn’t neglecting Hong Kong. Some five months after opening its fourth Apple Store on the island, it is now expanding its very first store there.

The store at the International Finance Center is suspended above a major road in the city, and AppleInsider obtained a photo of a hoarding on the third floor stating that the new level would “open soon.”

Hong Kong Stories November 19, 2015

AAPL: 118.78

1.49

Jony Ive’s year-ago prediction that the Swiss watch industry would be in trouble once the Apple Watch launched appears to have been correct (his actual language was said to have been stronger). Bloomberg reports that Swiss watch exports suffered their biggest slump in six years.

Shipments declined 12 percent to 2 billion Swiss francs ($2 billion), the Swiss customs office said in a statement Thursday. Adjusted for fewer working days, the drop was 7.6 percent. Exports to the U.S. dropped 12 percent.

“2015 has been one to forget for the watchmakers,” said Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux in Zurich.

The figures show that both higher- and lower-end brands are being hit hard, especially in the world’s biggest market for Swiss watches, Hong Kong …  expand full story

The best 4K & 5K displays for Mac

Hong Kong Stories October 27, 2015

AAPL: 114.55

-0.73

On its earnings call, Apple has announced a further expansion of Apple Pay in partnership with American Express, to Australia and Canada in 2015 as well as Spain, Singapore and Hong Kong next year in 2016. Exact details are still murky — Tim Cook very specifically said ‘eligible American Express customers in these regions’ so it isn’t going to be as big as a rollout for Apple Pay as we saw for the US or UK.

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Hong Kong Stories September 29, 2015

AAPL: 109.06

-3.38

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

Hong Kong Stories August 12, 2015

AAPL: 115.24

1.75

From some recent news reports and analyst pronouncements, we could easily get the impression that the relatively weak Chinese economy poses a major threat to Apple. The argument doing the rounds is that China is where Apple is seeing most of its growth at present, and the Chinese economy is tanking.

It’s absolutely the case that the importance of China to Apple cannot be overstated. Apple does continue to grow its sales in both the Americas and Europe, of course, and there is no suggestion that this is showing any sign of slowing, despite a saturated smartphone market. But worldwide growth of 33% was dwarfed by that seen in China, as one recent graph vividly illustrated.

If Chinese demand for Apple products were indeed to weaken significantly, there is no doubt that this would be a major problem for Apple. But it seems to me that the issue is being substantially over-stated …  expand full story

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