Over the weekend I read a new report which pointed out that China is Apple’s largest market for iPhone sales. America is the old flame. China is Apple’s new BFF. And why not? China is where Apple manufactures the iPhone and iPad and most Macs, and Chinese folks love Apple.
Apple Stays Mum
Do not expect Apple to say much about the growing relationship with China, but America has been on the outs for many years.
China manufactures quality goods at very low prices, thanks to 60-hour work weeks and lower pay and benefits. Apple is merely one of many American companies taking advantage of the disparity in the work force.
Disparity? The engineers, manufacturing facilities, and much of the raw materials needed for many Apple products just are not available in the good old U.S. of A. these days.
News that sales of the iPhone in China have eclipsed sales of the iPhone in the U.S. should not come as a surprise. The smartphone market in the U.S. is nearing saturation, while China’s is growing faster than a newly elected Republican congressman’s ego.
To be fair about it, the UBS report sent to investors last week is more of an estimate-like guesstimate than real hard numbers. Only Apple knows for sure what gets sold where and in how many numbers, but it’s the China numbers that tell the tale.
China has over 1.35-billion people. The U.S. has just over 316-million. That’s billion vs. million. Or, put another way, China’s market is 4.3 times larger than the U.S. Is it any wonder that Apple courts Chinese vendors, sales, and politicians?
All the large Chinese cell phone companies carry the iPhone, 4G LTE is just breaking loose in China, the country’s upwardly mobile population is huge, and guess what they want to buy more of? If you answered plastic Samsung smartphones and tablets, you’d be wrong. Those are passé, so 1999, and somewhat on the decline thanks to China’s homegrown Knockoff King™, Xiaomi (rhymes with ‘Yow! Me!’).
We see the Chinese influence everywhere in technology these days. American tech companies, instead of designing and building their own new tech gadgets, simply send a bunch of product managers to the tech corridors of China to see what’s what, order some, slap their company logo on top, and call it a day. Apple is a bit more disciplined than that, of course, but numbers don’t lie. Apple goes where the numbers go and these days the big numbers are in China, Apple’s new BFF.