“Jobs & Co. are in danger of blowing an opportunity to score big with millions of tech- and status-symbol-crazy Chinese,” Alex Salkever writes for BusinessWeek. “Apple, however, is hardly rushing into this potential promised land, although it has shown signs of interest. In May, 2004, it unveiled a deal to preload its popular iTunes music software on every PC made by Founder Technology, China’s second-largest PC manufacturer. Mac watchers immediately discounted the possibility of an iTunes Music Store launch in China where rampant piracy would likely spook the big labels.”
“However, many wondered whether the Founder deal presaged a more intensive iPod marketing campaign in the big urban centers of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. So far Apple hasn’t done anything further on this score, but it ought to hurry up. It has a wide-open opportunity to become a big player in what will likely become the world’s largest personal-tech market within the next decade,” Salkever writes.
“The math is compelling. Weingrod estimates that China now has 35 million to 40 million households with the equivalent purchasing power of a U.S. household earning $25,000 to $30,000 per year. That means now 100 million Chinese are living the middle-class life. That number could double or triple over the next 10 years, Weingrod figures, making the Chinese middle and upper classes nearly as large as the entire U.S. population,” Salkever writes.
Full article here.