China is Apple’s largest market but the company treats them “poorly”

Tim Cook iPhone 13 series

As a major consumer in the global market, China is a giant market that every brand wants to compete in. In this regard, Apple is no exception. Recently, Apple released its financial report for the second quarter of 2021. This financial report shows that Apple has the fastest growth rate in the global market. Many thanks to its revenue of nearly 100 billion yuan ($15.4 billion) which it got from the Chinese market. Due to Apple’s achievements in the Chinese market, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, said “This is our strongest market” and “We are proud of this.”

Apple AirPods 3

In the second quarter just past, multiple Apple product lines achieved double-digit year-on-year growth. Cook said that in the Chinese market, many Chinese consumers have had a strong response to the iPhone 12 series. Due to Huawei’s ban and its inability to produce many smartphones, Apple has some edge in China.

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According to Apple’s financial report, in the third fiscal quarter (April-June) of fiscal 2021, Apple’s revenue in Greater China hit $14.76 billion, a year-on-year increase of 58%. Cook said that many new Chinese users have begun to buy Apple products. For example, in the first quarter, two-thirds of Chinese Mac and iPad users were new users, and 85% of Apple Watch Chinese users were new users.

These performances made Tim Cook consider the Chinese market as Apple’s strongest market. However, are Chinese customers enjoying what they should as Apple’s “strongest market”?

Apple’s service plan in China gets worse

Although Chinese consumers bring hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Apple, the Chinese market is not getting the “best” from Apple. For instance, Apple recently officially notified Chinese authorized service providers on July 30, 2020, that it will no longer replace damaged AirPods headsets for customers. Instead, the AirPods headset needs to be returned to the repair center (RC) for further screening.

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That’s not all, there is also a negative change to the AppleCare+ service plan for Chinese customers. The former two years of additional hardware warranty and software support services are no longer available.

Apple not only targets the Chinese market in after-sales policies, it also holds on to China in other areas. Recently, some netizens discovered that Siri automatically ignores China. It does this in the automatic broadcast project of answering questions on the Olympic gold medal list. Siri only mentions Japan, the United States, and Russia. After that, Apple’s customer service responded that it did not broadcast China because it had the same number of gold medals as other countries. This explanation is a joke at best.

For a market which Tim Cook dubs as Apple’s “strongest market”, the treatment of the Chinese is very poor.

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1 Comment

  1. Tellucas Tellucas
    August 1, 2021

    Apple's warranty policies are data driven. It has previously been published that in certain markets there was a higher incidence of defective product returns that was later determined to be fraud. Components were removed and / or the product was rendered inoperable so in-store diagnostics could not be carried out. This is why further inspection at a service center may be required. If an extended warranty option is not profitable in a certain market then it is good business to not offer it.