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Apple CEO Tim Cook Visits China Amid iPhone 15 Market Challenges and App Store Controversy

Updated: Jan 4

[Edited] Apple CEO Tim Cook makes second China visit amid tough iPhone 15 market and App Store controversy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook
Credits: Weibo

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently made a second visit to mainland China in 2023, as the company faces challenges in the Chinese market. Cook's visit comes at a time when Apple's iPhone 15 series is facing stiff competition from Huawei's new 5G handsets.

During his visit to an Apple Store in Chengdu, Cook praised the work of Chinese-based developers on apps for Apple's Vision Pro mixed-reality headset. The Vision Pro is Apple's first major new product in a decade and aims to revolutionize user interaction with apps, capturing images, watching shows, and connecting with others.

The rest of Cook's itinerary for this trip remains unknown, and Apple has not provided any comments regarding his visit.

Cook's visit highlights the significance of mainland China as Apple's manufacturing hub and a major overseas market. With the largest number of internet users and the largest smartphone market in the world, China plays a crucial role in Apple's expansion initiatives.

However, the latest iteration of Apple's iPhone is facing challenges in the premium segment of the Chinese smartphone market. Counterpoint Research analyst Mengmeng Zhang noted that the iPhone 15 series sales in China were down 4.5% compared to the previous year. Factors such as shorter pre-holiday shopping periods and supply mismatches on the iPhone 15 Pro Max contributed to this decline.

Additionally, Huawei's new Mate 60 Pro and Mate 60 Pro+ 5G handsets, powered by an advanced made-in-China chip, have gained popularity among local consumers, intensifying competition in the premium smartphone market.

During his visit to Chengdu, Cook also attended a Tencent Holdings video gaming tournament for Honor of Kings, a popular game on the App Store. This visit comes as Apple grapples with China's strict censorship laws. The company recently had to revise its app developer policy to comply with Chinese regulations, which require government approval for apps on the Chinese App Store.

The changes to the App Store policy are expected to reduce the number of apps available on Apple's local iOS platform. This move follows reports that Chinese government workers were instructed to stop using Apple iPhones at work due to national security concerns amid geopolitical tensions with the United States.

Counterpoint Research reported that the global smartphone market experienced its lowest third-quarter sales in a decade, declining by 8% year on year.

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook made his second visit to China in 2023, emphasizing the country's importance as a manufacturing hub and major market.

  • The iPhone 15 series faces tough competition from Huawei's new 5G handsets in the Chinese market.

  • Cook praised the work of Chinese developers on apps for Apple's Vision Pro mixed-reality headset during his visit to an Apple Store in Chengdu.

Source: SCMP

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