Apple iPhone’s issues in China may be difficult to fix

“The U.S.-China trade conflict hasn’t been kind to Apple investors, but it might be even worse than people thought,” Annie Gaus writes for TheStreet.

“Stanley Chao, a consultant who advises American brands on selling in the Chinese market, said that there’s been growing disfavor among Chinese consumers towards U.S. brands — not just Apple, but other well-known names like Nike and McDonald’s,” Gaus writes. “‘Based on my many trips to China this past year, there has been lots of anti-U.S. sentiment given Trump’s negative comments about China,’ Chao said. ‘The average Chinese consumer is saying, ‘Why should I buy a U.S. product if the U.S. hates us so much? There are so many options out there now — Huawei, Samsung, etc. so I’ll just buy one of those and not support the U.S.””

MacDailyNews Take: Apple product assemblers and component suppliers employ hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers.

“Despite Cook’s long-standing efforts to cultivate a strong relations with Chinese officials and the public, U.S. brands are now synonymous with America according to Chao. ‘Cook and U.S. companies can’t do a thing about it,’ he added,” Gaus writes. ” Speaking to CNBC on Wednesday night, Cook expressed some optimism that trade relations between the U.S. and China will improve, saying he was ‘encouraged’ by recent discussions with both countries. ”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in August:

The tariffs are not the end game. They are bargaining chips and, due to the trade imbalance, the U.S. has 376 billion more chips with which to play than China ($506B – $130B)… China’s running out of chips already. This initial negotiation phase too shall pass. The end result will be better than the starting point.

If you look at our results, our shortfall is over 100% from iPhone and it’s primarily in greater China. And so as we look at what’s going on in China — it’s clear that the economy begins to slow there for the second half. And what I believe to be the case is the trade tensions between the United States and China put additional pressure on their economy… I’ve had obviously many, many discussions [with the Trump administration] over the course of many months to be constructed and to give sort of my perspective on trade and the importance of it to the American economy as well. And I feel like I’m — that I’m being listened to in that respect. And so I’m actually encouraged by what I’ve heard most recently coming from the U.S. and from China and hopefully we’ll see some changes.Apple CEO Tim Cook, January 2, 2019

I’m cognizant that in both the U.S. and China, there have been cases where everyone hasn’t benefited, where the benefit hasn’t been balanced. My belief is that one plus one equals three. The pie gets larger, working together. — Apple CEO Tim Cook, March 24, 2018

At least half of the popular fallacies about economics come from assuming that economic activity is a zero-sum game, in which what is gained by someone is lost by someone else. But transactions would not continue unless both sides gained, whether in international trade, employment, or renting an apartment. — Thomas Sowell, June 14, 2006

Advisor to President Trump: Apple’s sales should pick up when U.S.-China strike trade deal – January 3, 2019


  1. If India, China, and Russia are dead market wise so what? If you are company in the most profitable parts of the world will you give up?, Apple needs to save, what it makes and stay profitable by building products that people want to buy in comparison to most of the tech non-profits that it is in competition with.

    Apple, however needs to move the Mac forward, if Intel can’t give you what want, Apple needs to move on with the A-Series..

  2. Trump strategy is an arcane Tariff War, many many better ways but not in Fred, er ah, Donald Trump’s world, Americans pay the price. Let’s all visit Trump Casino and get our 401k back.

    1. China has double or triple the tariffs on US goods.
      You just gonna bend over like Obama, Bush, Clinton, Bush, etc, and do nothing about it?
      Be a real business man and call them out for what they are doing and ask for EVEN tariffs or zero tariffs on both sides.

      So China does what they are used to doing. Calling a bluff and expecting the US President to cow-tow and back off.

      Guess what? Trump’s in office now. He an’t backing off.

      China is now starting to see THEIR economy crumble. Give some more time and they will agree to whatever Trump asks for.

  3. Agree there is. This was a GREAT quarter. They still had YoY increase in revenue despite the entire collapse of the Chinese economy. Which is impressive for a country that believes “innovation” = copy.

    Apple had record sales in all the other countries.

    So even with China going down the drain, Apple did great. If jobs were around he would have been able to communicate this. Cook likes to apologize while telling us about his ancient deep pipeline.

    Cook’s new motto for apple. Doing less and less with more and more.

  4. Apple chose to make his bed with the devil in China when it comes to building his phones because its cheaper. Instead Apple taught China how to build the phones and rebuilding their economy. China really doesn’t like to import or buy anything outside of China. By building the manufacturing infrastructure for China Apple set the stage to have the rug pulled out from under them. The issue isn’t the trade wars its not knowing who you’re making your bed with. Samsung was their top seller just 5 years ago now barely sell 1% of the phones there. China NEVER intends for Apple to succeed in “China” unless it is to their benefit. The lie is Apple’s premium phone will sell in China because it’s the best phone. That is the lie Apple-heads keep telling themselves when in reality you got played. Apple will be cast aside like everyone else as China elevates their own brands. Apple has no choice but to use them for manufacturing because of greed and they can’t build outside now. I love it China builds all of the iphones and now won’t buy any of them. The ultimate “fair trade” for China.

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