Apple may be preparing for an increased focus on the Chinese market, as the company has posted more than 200 job openings on LinkedIn. The job postings, mostly for senior positions, were added in the past three weeks, many of them in the last few days.
With the developed market close to saturation point, the BRIC markets – Brazil, Russia, India and China – are key to Apple’s future expansion. Worldwide, smartphones represent only just over half of the total cellphone market, generating massive potential for future growth.
Apple faces a challenge in China that is as much political as marketing based. The Chinese government is enthusiastic about it’s defense of national brands, and has been known to attack foreign brands in the state-run Chinese media.
It should come as no surprise that a number of the job postings are for “Supplier Responsibility” positions, as Apple has come under attack for “responsibility” reasons numerous times in recent history. Attacks have include a furor over Apple’s warranty policies, high-profile stories over electrocutions, (although these incidents likely involve counterfeit products), and for working conditions and pollution claims in reference to its key suppliers.
China is believed to be the main target for Apple’s much-rumored “iPhone 5C,” the plastic budget iPhone expected to be debuted alongside the company’s flagship “iPhone 5S” on September 10th. Tim Cook has recently met with representatives from both China Telecom and China Mobile, reportedly for negotiations about the companies offering the new iPhone models.