As rumours swirl about the design of Apple’s iPhone 6 ahead of its hotly anticipated debut next week, economists have made some more hard-headed – but no less remarkable – predictions about its impact.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research has estimated that the “expected large scale” of sales of the iPhone 6 will push up GDP in Taiwan by 40 basis points this year, add 1 percentage point a month to China’s export growth for the rest of 2014 and boost Taiwan’s export growth by around 2 percentage points a month between August and October and then 1 percentage point a month until January 2015.
Which company added over 50m new paying subscribers in 2013 alone? Yup, China Mobile. The company now has 763m customers, all of whom as of Friday can now buy an iPhone.
Success! No wonder Apple chief executive Tim Cook looks excited to be in Beijing. But it might not be quite that simple.
By Marco Veremis of Upstream
The App Store has recently celebrated a milestone, achieving $10bn in app sales since its inception. Something certainly remarkable, but how far will this success stretch beyond the western world? With the western market reaching saturation, there are swathes of potential new customers in markets including Latin America, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa who are eager for mobile content.
But can Apple and other players emulate their success further afield?
Apple and Nokia’s latest quarterly results always throw up something interesting – usually in different directions, as the Finnish phonemaker declines and the US tech giant forges on.
So here’s one nugget from the recent reports: in revenue terms year-on-year, Apple added the equivalent of Nokia’s entire China services and devices business in just one quarter.
It was a quarter to forget for China Mobile. The world’s largest mobile operator on Monday reported an 8.7 per cent year-on-year drop in net income to Rmb28.37bn ($4.6bn) for the third quarter, well below analyst expectations of Rmb30.9bn.
The disappointing set of results, if anything, should bolster the case for the company to strike that long-awaited iPhone distribution deal with Apple.
A Burberry mask, but not an iPhone
As Angela Ahrendts “transitions” from Burberry to Apple, giving shares in the fashion group a 4 per cent plus drop on the way, it might seem odd to ask what Apple, a company that has reinvented consumer devices and retail, can learn from Burberry.
It certainly isn’t scale – Apple is one of the world’s biggest companies. Or brand value – Apple is ranked #1 in the global Interbrand index.
So what can it learn from Burberry’s outgoing chief executive? In a nutshell: emerging markets.
Apple’s launch of its iPhone 5S and 5C has generated as much speculation over its business in China as it has interest in the models themselves.
Can Apple pull off a deal with China Mobile, the world’s biggest mobile carrier? Or would a better question be: is it too late?
Apple’s simultaneous product launch in California and Beijing was the latest sign that the global brand is attempting to push into Asian markets.
But Apple’s foray into China has not so far been an unmitigated success, write Kate Allen and Sarah Mishkin. In fact, the brand seems to be struggling to seize the market. Why so? Here are six key points about the Chinese mobile market that might help to explain.
Apple will on Tuesday hold its first product launch event in nearly a year. But the buzz surrounding the event has been less about a new range of low-cost iPhones expected to be rolled out, than on whether Apple will finally announce a long-awaited partnership with China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator.
If it comes, a deal would represent a major game changer for Apple, which has seen its share of the smartphone market in China eroded by the likes of Samsung and local manufacturers – including Xiaomi, a three-year-old start-up with a $10bn valuation.
So more on those dismal China numbers.
According to Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, the company is still doing well in the country despite the 43 per cent slump reported in quarter-on-quarter revenues. The problem – if Cook is to be believed – is not mainland China, but Hong Kong.
China has proved to be a drag on the results of corporate America so far this earnings season. From Coca-Cola to McDonald’s, even companies that have long been seen as experts in mining the country for profits are finding the goings tougher as growth in the world’s second economy hits the wall.
On Tuesday, it was Apple’s turn to feel the pinch. While the company posted better-than-expected earnings thanks to strong iPhone sales, revenue from China – now Apple’s second largest single biggest market behind the US – hit the skids.
Just a few weeks ago, Foxconn was apologising profusely for poor performance as rival contract manufacturer Pegatron was riding high on reports that it had won out over Foxconn, Apple’s main manufacturer, for a contract to make Apple’s upcoming cheaper version of its iPhone.
Things have changed. Now it’s Pegatron’s shares that are falling, battered by local reports that it is will not get as many orders as initially forecast, with Foxconn getting them instead.
India has overtaken Japan to become the world’s third largest market for smartphones, joining China and the US on the podium.
In some ways, it’s unsurprising. With a population of over a billion people India is bound eventually to be among the largest markets for pretty much anything. What is interesting is how Indians are using their phones – and the local handset makers that are seeing lightning fast growth.
Pieces of HTC’s recent management shake-up seem to be falling in place with its announcement on Thursday of new leadership for its south Asia operations.
Most notably, the struggling Taiwanese smartphone maker says its new head of south and southeast Asia has come over from the key competitor HTC has been trying hard to emulate – Apple.
China Mobile has this month quietly launched Jego, an app to rival Skype’s free voice-calling system, in an effort to extend its international reach.
Callers from outside China will be able to call China numbers (landline and mobile) for free. The app is now available on Google play and in Apple’s iTunes store.
One curious fact that hasn’t got in the way of the arrangement is that China Mobile and Apple have been locked in a long stalemate over the distribution of Apple’s iPhone. So could Jego mark the start of an Apple-China Mobile rapprochement?