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Apple meets with China Mobile



Trying to resolve the China Crisis

Apple’s Tim Cook is meeting with China Mobile yesterday in a desperate bid to turn his company’s poor success in the world’s largest potential market around.

While Jobs’ Mob has been good at convincing Western Telcos to bankrupt themselves at Apple’s expense by making the iPhone and iPads cheaper with subsidies, the Chinese have not fallen for it. Cook is apparently going to ask the head of China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, Xi Guohua in Beijing why it doesn't offer iPhones and iPads.

Apple is hoping that the talks could pave the way for a long-awaited deal for China Mobile to distribute Apple products on its vast network. Of course Xi might just point out that there is no reason he needs to flog Apple toys at a premium rate when most of his customers want to buy cheaper Samsung and Nokia gear. We don’t think China Mobile became China’s largest supplier of phones by cutting its own throat with heavy subsidies to westerners.

Hard as it might be to believe, Apple has not got the cult status in China that it has in the US. The company also has a reputation for short changing customers on warranties, something only a huge public outcry helped fix.

Apple said last week that its April-June sales in Greater China, which includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, slumped 43 percent from the previous quarter. Greater China accounted for 13 percent of Apple's quarterly sales, or $5 billion, down from nearly 19 percent in January-March.

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