The Chinese tech market has a great deal to celebrate: it was announced yesterday that Apple will be bringing a new wave of products East, including the Wi-Fi + Cellular versions of the fourth generation iPad with Retina display and the iPad mini.
While the new arrival of Apple products is big news, for China, it is especially big news. CNN’s Jeongwen Chiang detailed the rising culture of Apple in China in today’s column, “Why China Loves Apple.” In it, he described the status symbols that Apple products have become, and how they are the gifts of choice to enhance business deals.
The products are so popular there that Tim Cook expects China to become the company’s top market, an impressive feat, considering the worldwide popularity of the company. On a trip to meet Chinese regulators and Unicom executives, Cook told Xinhua News Agency, “China is currently our second-largest market; I believe it will be our first.”
Currently, the Chinese market accounts for about 16 percent of Apple sales. It is only the sixth largest vendor of smartphones in China, but recent Apple-China mobile talks have gotten the rumor mill churning about possible a collaboration between the two companies.
The new Apple products will be available through Chinese Apple stores, authorized Apple resellers, and Apple’s online store, whether would-be users are looking to get their hands on the newest status symbols or enhance what Chiang calls their ‘guanxi’—relationship—with a business associate. There are currently 11Apple stores in China, but this number has the potential to grow as Apple’s stronghold in China grows.
If past product launches are any indicator, these products will do remarkably well in China. The last Apple product to launch there—the latest iPhone, which launched in December—sold more than two million units in a three-day period.
Edited by Brooke Neuman