Apple’s revenue in China, including neighboring Hong Kong and Taiwan, totaled $7.3 billion in last quarter, up 60 percent from a year earlier. But there are signs that Apple’s vaunted cachet in the world’s most populous nation is waning. The iPhone 5 have drawn a relatively subdued response from Chinese consumers. According to Taobao.com, the biggest online marketplace in China, iPhone 5 transactions have fallen by half since it went on sale in mid-December. The iPhone is also losing out as consumers opt for bigger screens to watch Chinese soap operas while travelling, or affordable smartphones in the sub-1,000 yuan (US$160) category made by local vendors …
Apple has just released its annual supplier responsibility report, which shows that the company is prepared to cut off suppliers for being lax on underage labor. A supplier from Guangdong province was found to have 74 violations over the course of the year, and Apple has completely severed ties with the manufacturer. One of the region’s biggest staffing firms located at Shenzhen was responsible for supplying the children to the supplier’s factory, going so far as to help families forge age verification documents. Last year, Apple supplier Foxconn has drawn fire for alleged abuses related to its use of student employees and internship programs, including reports of compulsory manufacturing work, and Apple is doing their job to stop this …
As Chinese New Year is approaching, hundreds of millions of migrant workers are preparing to make the trip home to celebrate with their families. However, around 1,000 workers at the Beijing division of Foxconn, were angry to work overtime ahead of the Chinese New Year because it’s bad and low pay. On Tuesday, they went on strike at the firm’s cafeteria amid a dispute over end-of-year holiday privileges and bonuses. The photos on the internet showed workers were sitting round a table, talking to management, while others showed a large crowd of workers crowded into the factory canteen waiting for an answer.
UPDATE: Foxconn confirmed to TNW in a statement that there weren’t any strike at the factory, it was merely a town hall meeting with numerous employees, and it has made no disruption to its operation.
The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing has an intriguing new take on the debate over Apple’s product and the people who make them. A young Chinese artist, which was already an Apple consumer, got an assembly-line job at Shenzhen Foxconn to make iPads, and forty-five days later he used his wages to buy one. As an exhibit, he put the iPad on a pedestal, tacked up his uniform and badges, and framed his contract. The effect, on a white gallery wall, is a strangely addictive ready-made tablet about the intersection of money, aspiration, and technology. So did the experience in Foxconn change his perceptions of Apple one way or the other ?
Apple introduced installment payment plans for buyers of iPhones and MacBook laptops in China as it struggles to compete with domestic low-cost devices. Payments on purchases costing from 300 yuan to 30,000 yuan (US$48 – $4824) made via the company’s Chinese website can be spread over as long as two years. The plan requires a China Merchants Bank’s credit card. Chinese online customers will be able to split payments into three, six, 12, 18 or 24 installments. Through Jan. 23, choosing 12 or fewer installments carries no fee. A fee of 6.5 percent of the selling price will be charged for 18 installments, and 8.5 percent for 24 installments. Apple is trying to make its products more affordable in China, as the contract free iPhone 5 is priced roughly equal to six weeks’ pay for an average urban worker …
Apple’s latest iPhone 5 might be a powerhouse globally, fighting Samsung for top rank, but weak distribution and a high price tag are limiting its sales in China, where it’s soon to become the world’s largest smartphone market. Though the iPhone continues to be hugely popular among Chinese consumers, this may not be enough to hold onto the interest of China’s 290 million smartphone users. China is still Apple’s second-largest market, but iPhone sales are losing traction to competition from Samsung, as well as domestic handset makers like Xiaomi. Upstart Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi is on track to post $2 billion in sales, with some tricks borrowed from Apple’s playbook. Remember to click the hyperlink at the end of the video to watch the related show: “Can China grow an Apple ? “
According to Chinese media report, Apple CEO Tim Cook outlined plans for the R&D center with acting Beijing Mayor during he visit to China last week. During the alleged meeting, Cook noted that Apple will move to China an undisclosed number of servers dedicated to the App Store and iTunes. Separate sources indicated that Hebei Province or Inner Mongolia could be potential location for the data center which is expected to improve download times for users in the region. The exact nature of the R&D center was not revealed. Cook has also met with the country’s head of industry and information technology to discuss Apple’s business in the region as well as global communications sector in general. The setting up of servers in China may improve the downloading speed for Chinese users, but it will also allow authorities to easily create regulations to stop iTune for selling VPN app.
This is how much the Russian government hates the fake phones and smuggling. Over 127 units of fake iPhones were confiscated by Russian customs after a Chinese smuggler unsuccessfully proved they were genuine. He got fined for about 65 dollars, and over $36,500 of smuggle goods were executed by an excavator and were burnt in the boiler house in front of a gathered crowd of witnesses, and it was filmed to warn posterity. Can’t they just destroy the fake phones in a more simple way than using the excavator? Video after the break.
Many people are not pleased with Apple’s iPhone 5 partly because the screen is too small when there are competitors like Samsung Galaxy Note and some other Android handsets with big screen. If you have the same complains, then you can take a look at how this 7-inch Android tablet ripoff iPhone 5’s two-tone design. Don’t expect it to come with impressive specs like quad-core processor, but at least it can make phone calls on GSM/GPRS networks, and it also includes functions like GPS, WiFi and Bluetooth. There’re dual cameras on the device and pre-installed Android 4.0.4. More photos after the break.
iPad Mini, in its cellular version will hit China this Friday. The WiFi model has already arrived in China early last month, merely one month after its debut in the States. Last week, Tim Cook visited China and has reported on the release of the product in an interview with local reporters. Now the Chinese are able to buy a cellular iPad Mini if they are preparing a gift for the Chinese New Year. And yes, the Chinese version only support 3G radio, no 4G LTE, as the country has not ready for that kind of super mobile internet speed. It will supports UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz), CDMA EV-DO and GSM/EDGE cellular network, and it can only be used on China Telecom and China Unicom only. The cellular version iPad Mini is priced at 3,488 yuan (US$563), 4,288 yuan (US$692) and 5,088 yuan (US$821) for 16GB, 32GB and 64GB respectively. The 4th gen iPad will also provide cellular version, priced at 4,688 yuan (US$756), 5,488 (US$855) and 6,288 (US$1,014).
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