January 15, 2013
Apple CEO Tim Cook said he believes China will become Apple’s most important market. He was optimistic about his latest talk with China Mobile, although he wouldn’t go into detail about it — and he recently met with Miao Wei, minister of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is responsible for approving Apple products before they’re launched in China.
The lag times for launch in China, when compared to the U.S., are often large. For example, “the iPhone 5 was not available in China until nearly three months after its U.S. debut. Not only that, but Apple has wrestled with China Mobile for four years over network and revenue sharing issues,” writes TechCrunch.
Because Apple lacks a distribution deal with China, its market share has declined in the country as consumers choose less expensive and more easily attainable devices.
But Cook hopes to turn that around. “At present, Apple has 11 stores in China and Hong Kong, as well as a wide network of Apple resellers. Cook hopes to increase the number of official Apple stores in the region to 25,” notes the post.
That expansion and a good distribution deal would be great places for Apple to start.