Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China for 2nd Time in Less than a Year
Apple CEO Tim Cook today visited China for 2nd time in less than a year. Reportedly he is visiting the country for talking to partners and government officials. It is a well known fact that China is the 2nd largest market for Apple after America. Last year when iPhone 5 was launched, Apple sold more than 2 million iPhone 5s in China only. And interestingly, that milestone was made in the shortest time span of 2 days. Apple’s manufacturing partner, Foxconn, is also based in China and Cook has visited it’s factories in previous trip. It clearly demonstrates the importance of China for Apple.
Right now Apple has opened around 7 stores in China. It is notable that after Cook’s first visit, Apple quickly doubled the number of retail stores in China. As of now company sells iPhones through it’s own stores, resellers and carrier outlets. Company has partnerships with two careers known as China Unicom and China Telecom only. But both these careers together have only half customers of China Mobile. Yep, China Mobile is the BIG BOY! But Apple hasn’t yet partnered with China Mobile because there is a technical problem. China Mobile uses a different 3G network as compared to the other companies of the world. But if Apple somehow successfully ties up with the career, then it can totally dominate Chinese smartphone market of 290 million users from next product launch; a market that Apple can not afford to loose anymore. Rumors are already saying that Apple is working on a cheaper iPhone that may launch sometime in 2013.
But it is not yet confirmed that whether he will meet with China Mobile Officials or not. However, he met with Minister of Industry and IT, Miao Wei, and the meeting was officially listed on ministry’s website. In the meeting he talked to Mr. Wei on evolving smartphone technologies, global smartphone communications, IT trends and innovation.
Right now China accounts for 15% of Apple’s worldwide market share. Chinese smartphone market provided $5.7 billion in Apple’s revenue for the quarter ending in September 2012. Apple will surely look to increase these figures on next iPhone launch. Although company is doing fairly well in the market, still if it has to maintain this level, then it should increase it’s growth continuously. Otherwise we know that Google Android is installed on 3 out of every 4 smart phones purchased in 2012!