BusinessWeek writer: Apple needs to push iPod into China

“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.

32 Comments

  1. The old joke used to be: Yeah the Chinese market – a billion people…….all with one dollar each.

    But I guess that is changing. This must be the New China after Hong Kong.

  2. Economically, China’s only communist in name now. Just stop by any of the 30-40 Starbucks in Beijing on the way to the McDonalds while talking on your cell phone.

    In big cities, literally everybody has a cell phone.

  3. For once, I agree with Salkever. I prefer Haddad’s writing better to his and I thought BusinessWeek’s Mac articles were junk now. But, this time, he is right. Apple needs to market themselves better to developing countries. Wintels make unbelievable gains in those countries simply because they are way cheaper (white box PCs). Also, the myth about Apple is vastly exaggerated and softwares and services ARE hard to find.

    I think it’s unfortunate that Mac is synonym to Apple, Mac hardwares and Mac OS, since I think Apple should have a second, cheaper brand of hardware (kinda like Sony and Aiwa) to penetrate these markets. The quality doesn’t have to be like Macs and it doesn’t need industrial designs, but compared to those white boxes, it’s more than good enough. However, since Mac also refers to the OS and Apple, any problems will have a negative effect on Apple and a second hardware brand fails to separate Apple brand from Mac brand. Or maybe Apple should license their hardware and OS in those local market on the condition that they stay local? Any thought?

  4. China: Where they kill little girls, abduct women who are pregnant for the 2nd time – strap them down and rip the unborn children from their wombs. China… where “unauthorized” babys during normal birth are given a shot of poison in the brain.

    China – where simple possession of a Bible results in being beaten to death in some dark hole… even if you are a 74 year old pastor.

    China: Where they grease the treads of their tanks with the blood of 18 year old students who dared to build a copy of the Statue of Liberty in T-Square…. who dared to ask to live in a free and democratic society.

    No, Steve…. Stay out of China until the Communists stop acting like the animals they are.

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