Tim Cook: China to become Apple's largest market

Cook plans to have more than 25 Apple stores in China

Apple CEO Tim Cook expects China to become the company's largest market, surpassing the U.S.

Optimistic about the potential of the market, the company now plans to exceed its original target of 25 official Apple stores in the country, Cook told local press in interviews on Thursday.

Cook is on his second visit to the country as Apple's CEO. On the same day he held talks with the nation's largest mobile carrier, China Mobile, which has yet to sell the iPhone.

China is currently the company's second largest market. Cook did not say when he expected it to overtake the U.S.

In the interviews, Cook said Apple would exceed it's plan of having 25 company stores in China, a goal which had been mentioned back in 2010. But it would take time to construct the stores because Apple wants the buildings to be large in order to serve more customers, he said.

So far, Apple has 11 company stores in mainland China and Hong Kong. Six of those stores opened last year.

Apple's products have been at times wildly popular in the country, generating long lines outside stores. iPad sales continue to dominate China's tablet space. But in smartphones, Apple has struggled to maintain a leading market share.

In last year's third quarter, Apple fell out of the country's rankings for top five smartphone vendors, with Samsung and Chinese handset makers leading the pack. Apple's newly launched iPhone 5, however, is expected to help the company regain market share, according to analysts.

The company has been in talks previously with China Mobile about selling the iPhone. The carrier has more than 700 million customers, and without China Mobile, Apple's growth in the country has been constrained, said Teck Zhung Wong, an analyst with research firm IDC. Apple could not be reached for comment.

IDC, however, projects China Mobile won't offer the iPhone until 2014, after the carrier is expected to launch its commercial 4G LTE network. China Mobile's current 3G network relies on a mobile standard not widely used outside the country known as TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access). Apple would have to re-engineer its iPhone in order to use the network.

With China becoming a vital market for Apple, Cook also said he wanted the country to be among the first to receive the company's newest products. Historically, many of Apple's latest gadgets launch in China weeks or months after they've already been first sold in the U.S. Cook said this was because products have to undergo regulatory checks, which take longer in China.

He hoped the processing time for the checks will be shorter in future, and said the company has been working with Chinese authorities on resolving the issue for years now.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Appledistributiontelecommunicationconsumer electronicsCarrierschina mobilesmartphonesiPhone

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?