by Staff Writers
Shanghai (AFP) Jan 11, 2013
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, on his second visit to China in a year, said he expects the country to surpass the United States as the technology giant's largest market, state media reported.
Cook said Apple would launch new products in China, but declined to comment on reports the company is planning a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets like China, the official Xinhua News agency reported late Thursday.
"China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will," Cook told Xinhua in an interview.
Apple said it sold over two million iPhone 5 handsets in China within three days of its launch on December 14 last year.
Products of the California-based company, including the iPhone and iPad, are wildly popular in China where they are coveted by wealthy consumers.
Coming out with a more affordable iPhone in China and other markets could help Apple ward off competition from bargain-priced smartphones powered by Google-backed Android software.
A separate report carried by the news portal of Internet giant Sina quoted Cook as saying Apple planned to have more than 25 retail stores in China.
The company currently has 11 such stores in mainland China and Hong Kong. The Sina report gave no timeframe for the store openings.
Technology analysts say Apple has appeared slow to open more stores in China given the demand for its products.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Cook's visit.
On Cook's previous visit to China last March, the man tipped to be China's next premier, Li Keqiang, told him that foreign firms should protect workers as Apple faced criticism over factory conditions in China.
Speaking on the latest visit, where he met Chinese company executives in Beijing, Cook said Apple has strict codes of conduct for its suppliers manufacturing in China, which include Foxconn of Taiwan, Xinhua reported.
He said Apple would not do business with vendors who failed to follow the company's code of conduct, the report said.
Apple plans to bring some manufacturing of its computers from China to the United States this year, Cook said last month.
Satellite-based Internet technologies
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|