“While many Western retail giants have failed to translate their American success in China’s booming economy, Apple is winning simply by being Apple,” John Boudreau reports for The San Jose Mercury News.
“The Cupertino, Calif.-based company, which plans to have 25 retail stores open in China in coming months, has imported its retail philosophy to four stores in China so far — two in Beijing, two in Shanghai — and has created an instant following among consumers who can be as fussy and demanding as any in the world,” Boudreau reports. “Its first China store, a split-level space in a pricey shopping and nightclub area of Beijing called Sanlitun, is itself packed like a hot nightclub most evenings. The new 16,000-square-foot Shanghai outlet — located in the shadow of the iconic Oriental Pearl Tower — has the minimalist aura of an art gallery. Customers studiously examine iPhones, iPads and MacBooks with the focus of graduate students prepping for oral exams.”
“Much like in the U.S., Apple in China has attained a certain corporate celebrity status — though here the affection comes with a particular Chinese intensity,” Boudreau reports. “Shoppers pose for pictures in front of Apple’s products and logo. Last fall, the launch of the iPhone 4 created such a frenzy that fighting broke out at the Sanlitun store, which was temporarily shut down before reopening with a squad of security guards posted inside. The popular iPhone 4 is still in short supply while Apple’s iPad 2, which has yet to officially go on sale in China, is going for at least $1,000 on the black market, hundreds of dollars more than its retail price.”
Boudreau reports, “Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, who regularly visits Asia, believes mainland China alone — excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan — will represent 10 percent of Apple’s revenue within five years, up from about 2 percent today.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” for the heads up.]