Apple CEO Visits China, Focuses on App Developers amidst Dropping iPhone Sales in the Area

China has always been a difficult cookie to crack. Incredibly independent, the Chinese economy has been one of the fastest in terms of growth and development within the past year. International corporations and businesses have been eyeing China for a while, longing to establish a relationship with the superpower. Not only has China grown in power politically, but its technological innovations are no laughing matter as well. China was able to suppress and lower the sales of multiple international tech companies by creating their own local versions. Because of this, many corporations seek to establish relations with China in order to gain the support of the Chinese tech community.

Apple CEO Tim Cook visited China for a Forum on March 23. He was seen touring app developers that specialized in Augmented Reality, an innovation that Apple has been taking by storm since the release of the iPhone X. However, Cook was criticized for not addressing the lack of consumer interest within China for Apple’s products. Instead, Cook prioritized looking for corporations to contact with for further innovation of the iPhone.

 

Big fish here, small fish overseas

China has been known as the home for cheaper alternatives to high-end tech products overseas. Corporations have been known to mimic Apple’s style and form while choosing to use cheaper, sometimes sub-optimal parts in order to create something similar to the Apple experience. Companies like Xiaomi and Oppo have been successful at winning the hearts of Chinese consumers with their functional yet affordable alternatives to Apple’s more expensive products.

Cook constantly has trips to China to maintain ties with investors and look for corporations to contract and become producers of Apple product parts. However, this closely watched trip saw cook trying to expand Apple’s global footprint by improving on the Augmented Reality that the new iPhone series specializes in. People believe that Cook going to China for expansion proves Apple’s interest in getting the people of China to be interested in their products.

 

Gaining intel

Some individuals believe that Cook’s trip to China was more than just expanding Apple’s capabilities, but also an opportunity to gauge the competition within China. Since the Chinese public prefers the cheaper alternatives, gathering intelligence regarding the needs of Chinese consumers can help Apple get a leg up on their Chinese competition. Moreover, it grants Apple visibility as a corporation that actually cares about the needs of its consumers. iPhone sales are still suffering from stiff competition from Chinese domestic brands and overall declines in smartphone sales in China. If Apple pushes its digital products and other services in the Chinese market, there might still be hope for the tech giant in the Chinese market.

Apple recognizes how vital it is for them to capture the Chinese market. They’re not the only ones suffering because of Chinese preference, with main competitors Samsung and Google suffering in the sale of their flagship smartphones within China a well. If Apple is capable of capturing the Chinese market, it gives them a huge boost in sales and reach that might be difficult for Samsung and Google to catch up with, putting Apple in a secure spot at the top of the tech hierarchy.

Tim Cook’s trip to China caused millions to wonder what the next step of the tech giant would be. By ignoring the dropping sales in China, Cook may have set up the demise of the iPhone within the Chinese market. However, if he was able to gather information and data regarding the Chinese demographic and would be able to channel that into innovation, then he might be able to save Apple’s reputation within China and retain its spot as the top tech corporation in the world.

 

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