So the iPad 3 arrived in China last week, and as expected, it was a flop. Wait… what?
The iPad 3 was supposed to be huge in China, after all, the hype generated by the iPhone 4 and the 4S in the country has been astounding. Huge queues, scalpers, smuggling and egg-throwing accompanied the last release, but this time, it was a very different story.
The release of the iPhone 4S required signs to ward of crowds… no such problems this time around…
There was no frenzy, no hype, no nothing, just a quiet release of another electronic device. It appears that Apple’s products are not the must-have gadgets they used to be.
Analyst TZ Wong said:
“The (iPhone 4S) model is a little bit too long in the tooth when compared to other phones with better specs…To put it plainly, consumers are getting a little bit tired of the look of the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S.”
Apple’s sales in China, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, was down $2.2 billion from the last quarter, although Tim Cook has told analysts that this is down to an excess in its inventory rather than weak sales of the iPhone. An excess in inventory means that resellers don’t have to replenish their stock as often, meaning sales will appear to have declined.
Many are pointing to Siri’s lack of Mandarin and Cantonese capabilities as a major factor in the flagging sales, sales staff in Shanghai have told Reuters that the iPhone 5 will be able to speak both Mandarin and Cantonese, but will that be enough? If Apple wants to stay on top of the curve, what do they need to do?