TIME Magazine’s international edition cover story this week is “The Cult of Apple in China”. The story is being published in both the International and U.S. editions.
“The eggs started smashing against the Apple Store windows just before dawn. Most of the hundreds of people who swarmed the swank plaza adjacent to the glowing, glass-cube outlet had huddled all night long in Beijing’s frigid January temperatures. But these weren’t early adopters desperate for the newly released iPhone 4S. Nor were they citizens outraged at the labor conditions inside the Chinese factories that churn out Apple gadgets,” Hannah Beech reports for TIME Magazine. “Instead, most were rural migrants who had been paid about $15 each to purchase iPhones and then hand them over to scalpers who would sell them at inflated prices.”
While the Chinese scalpers may have lost out, TIME reports that Apple hasn’t. In it’s latest quarterly earning statement, the company reported $39.2 billion in revenue. A new record. The leap was based in a large part on the 5X increase in iPhone sales in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong over the past year. Revenue for Greater China tripled over the same period to $7.9 billion, around 20% of global sales, up from just 2% in 2009.
TIME reports: “A market that three years ago was an afterthought for Apple could soon overtake the U.S. market, the company’s longtime consumer base. Credit Suisse estimates that China alone could generate almost $30 billion in sales for Apple by 2015.”
‘There’s tremendous opportunity for companies that understand China, and we are doing everything we can to understand it,’ said Timothy Cook, Apple’s chief executive, during an April earnings conference call. ‘It was an incredible quarter [for Apple] in China. It is mind-boggling that we could do this well.’”
The full story can be found at TIME’s website.