Monday, July 16, 2012

The Chinese dream Apple is falling behind

Whenever Tim Cook discusses the strategy of Apple, Steve Jobs's successor speaks extensively of China. This virus to the Middle Kingdom, he forwarded it to colleagues. We have seen at the keynote developer conference (WWDC) where Scott Forstall and Craig Federighi have heavily emphasized the support of China-specific features in IOS 6 and Mountain Lion.

To conquer this huge market, Apple had signed in 2009 a distribution agreement with Foxconn. In 2010, we learned that Studio A, a company similar to Foxconn, had announced plans to open 100 APR in China and Taiwan by 2013. But above all, Apple had put the package with its Apple Store. In February 2010 it announced that it would open 25 stores in two years. Reuters had fun doing the calculations and the account is not there.

Currently, Apple has six stores (including the one in Hong Kong) is a shop for 216 million. Comparison is not reason, but in France there is an Apple Store for 6 million. For its part, Reuters has compared this figure with eight Apple Stores in the state of Pennsylvania which has 12.7 million inhabitants. One of the cities of this state, Pittsburgh, which counts 305,000 souls, and that looks like a small town, compared to Beijing or Shanghai, has three shops.

For Apple, it is urgent to increase its presence in China and faster. Unquestionably, there is a strong demand for its products. The enthusiasm was such at the launch of the iPhone 4S in January - between customers and resellers on the gray market - that Apple was forced to suspend after 24 hours of its marketing terminal. To explain the delay in Apple took the opening, Andrew Milroy, vice president of ICT Research, politely explains that "there are complications to open stores in China that are not encountered in Western countries.” Does this aspect was addressed when Tim Cook has met with several Chinese officials, including the current Deputy Premier, Li Keqiang, last March? Nothing has filtered these interviews. In Meanwhile, some try to take advantage of the weak presence of Apple in the Chinese territory. Last summer, the world discovered that there was not that of an apple branded products that were cloned. Some amused themselves by taking on board the concept of Apple Store. By far, these stores resembled nothing so much as an Apple. Moreover, in some cases, even the employees were persuaded to work for California-based ... For David Wolf, Apple must respond quickly to this problem. The leader of the consulting firm Wolf Group Asia based in Beijing estimates that the Cupertino company that does not lose sales. Poor distribution of its products undermines its image, and could jeopardize its success in China. There is not that the Apple Store that are copied, we find the Chinese market pale copies of iPhone, iPad or MacBook Air. The buying experience is that Apple has so much to be altered. In products; the situation is also difficult for Apple, but about to get better. The iPhone is present in two major operators, but it is still not marketed by China Mobile, simply the worlds largest with 655 million subscribers. With the arrival of the iPhone 5, the situation could finally unlock. Last year, Wang Jianzhou, president of China Mobile claimed to have reached an agreement with Apple for an upcoming iPhone 4G supports its network. It is rumored that the iPhone 5 would be the first true "World Phone". This would be compatible with 3G and China would work with most of 4G networks.

Regarding the iPad, the horizon seems to emerge. Currently, Apple sells the Apple Store the old range of Chinese iPad 2. The agreement reached earlier this week with Proview around the rights to use the trademark in China iPad would allow Apple to quickly launch its new model.

If Apple knows some economic difficulties, it has a sacred potential in China and Asia more generally. In its annual survey, Campaign Asia-Pacific and Nielsen surveyed over 4800 people in 12 countries to find out what their favorite brands. In China, Apple tops before Nestle, Chanel, Sony and Samsung.

Overall in this geographical area, Apple climbs four places and finished second. It lags behind Samsung, Sony at the expense of which fell on the lowest step of the podium.

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