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Tim Cook May Not Know Why, But Samsung Is Winning in China

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the people-love-submissive-robots dept.

Android 327

An anonymous reader writes with this interesting snippet about the state of mobile tech in China: "Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook believes that 'over the arc of time' China is a huge opportunity for his pathbreaking company. But time looks to be on the side of rival Samsung Electronics, which has been around far longer and penetrated much deeper into the world's most populous country. Apple this week said its revenue in Greater China, which also includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, slumped 43 per cent to $4.65 billion from the previous quarter. That was also 14 per cent lower from the year-ago quarter. Sales were weighed down by a sharp drop in revenues from Hong Kong. "It's not totally clear why that occurred," Cook said on a conference call with analysts. Neither is it totally clear what Apple's strategy is to deal with Samsung – not to mention a host of smaller, nimbler Chinese challengers."

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327 comments

Here's the reason... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404331)

It's cheaper for what you get (ton more features, and they don't need to be babied like North Americans / other i users).
It has a pressure sensitive stylus for writing asian languages.
It's an asian company. While they might hate Koreans, they hate US people even more.

Stupid company is stupid.

Captcha: Liberty

Re:Here's the reason... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404353)

Yep, better product, better price and you can install Cyanogen/AOSP to clear any backdoors. With Apple products you're stuck with your OS spying on you.

Re:Here's the reason... (5, Interesting)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 9 months ago | (#44404613)

Yep, better product, better price and you can install Cyanogen/AOSP to clear any backdoors. With Apple products you're stuck with your OS spying on you.

why do you think cyan/aosp isn't spying on you? And what about all the malicious apps? if i lived in china, home of the filthy filthy app store, I'd want some protection.

Re:Here's the reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404753)

"why do you think cyan/aosp isn't spying on you? And what about all the malicious apps? if i lived in china, home of the filthy filthy app store, I'd want some protection."

Because the source is freely available.

Here's some additional protection for the app issue, though it's easy enough to use the Play store anyway.

The F-Droid Repository is an easily-installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The server contains the details of multiple versions of each application, and the Android client makes it easy to browse, install them onto your device, and keep track of updates.

You can install the latest version from here or see the end of this page for a QR code.

You can also browse the repository with a web browser, and download the applications directly from there if you can’t or don’t want to run the F-Droid client on your device.

https://f-droid.org/ [f-droid.org]

Is that part of an overall prediction? (0, Troll)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | about 9 months ago | (#44404421)

Is Apple on the way down, now that Steve Jobs is dead?

Re: Is that part of an overall prediction? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404535)

Apple needs more variants of the iPhone and iPad, for starters bigger versions. iPhone is so small, why not make a bigger version?? Just like we have more car variants, some prefer pickup trucks.., you know, Mr. Cook.

Re: Is that part of an overall prediction? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404545)

Mr. Cock.

Re: Is that part of an overall prediction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404899)

or vagina.

Re:Is that part of an overall prediction? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44404587)

Honestly, I don't think so. Steve's passing seems to have caused a pretty large hiccup, but I would not start betting on their demise just yet.

Re:Here's the reason... (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44404441)

It's an asian company. While they might hate Koreans, they hate US people even more.

I don't know where you get this. In my experiences, the Chinese like US people, and Korean dramas are popular in China.

Also, I'm not sure how a pressure sensitive stylus makes any difference for writing Asian languages........I haven't found any difficulty writing Chinese on an iPhone.....

Re:Here's the reason... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404505)

Oh man, seriously?

After tens of wars US has waged against Asian countries, Asian like American? As an Asian I almost puked.

Re:Here's the reason... (4, Funny)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44404565)

After tens of wars US has waged against Asian countries, Asian like American? As an Asian I almost puked.

Do you understand that 'Asian' is not the same as 'Chinese?' Apparently not.

Re:Here's the reason... (3, Informative)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44404809)

What war did the US wage against China? England screwed with them plenty, but the US has generally fought against their enemies or only indirectly in proxy wars. When you talk "asian" it sounds like you are picking and choosing between multiple different ethnicities to suit your "pet" theory. US liberated the Phillipines and is well liked there. Despite fighting Japan, the US is not hated there. And China likes the US. Well, the people do, even if the government doesn't. When walking around large cities that get few tourists, as a tall pale person, I had plenty of strangers who would come up and find some excuse to practice English with me.

Maybe those in some countries don't like us, but from what I've seen, having been across much of eastern Asia, the US is generally well regarded. The only exception is Indonesia, and that's religious/political. What country are you from, the country of "MakeShitUp?"

Re:Here's the reason... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404885)

This is odd but just today I took my kids to "Chinese Reconciliation Park [metroparkstacoma.org] " - a spot to recognize and apologize for the fact that in the 1800's thousands of Chinese people [tacomachinesepark.org] were driven out of our town in a spat of racial hatred. Most fled on threat of violence but the last 200 were rounded up forcibly, driven to the edge of town to wait a day unsheltered in the pouring, bitterly cold November rain and then loaded onto cattle cars for a trip to Portland, Oregon. At the end of that day there was not one Chinese person left in town. We had had an ethnic purge.

I'm not sure our kids got the whole horror of it, but it hit me pretty hard.

Re: Here's the reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404977)

Doesn't mean that it's a well known fact in China.

Re:Here's the reason... (3, Interesting)

Lincolnshire Poacher (1205798) | about 9 months ago | (#44404887)

What war did the US wage against China?

Estimates of Chinese casualties in the Korean war range up to 900,000. Accepted level seems to be around 700,000 with 180,000 fatalities.

I appreciate that the action was UN-flagged but the majority of forces were US.

Re: Here's the reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404983)

Which is not the same as waging war with China.

Re:Here's the reason... (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44404993)

I did mention proxy wars. We count our dead as killed by NK, even if it was a Chinese gun or Chinese soldier shooing it, and I expect the Chinese feel roughly the same, though I didn't directly ask about the Korean war while there, though some are bitter about the treatment by the English. Oddly, I did ask about it directly and nobody seemed to mind about the poor treatment of the Chinese in the US (near slavery of the Chinese on the west and Irish on the east building the railroad).

Re:Here's the reason... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404525)

I haven't found any difficulty writing Chinese on an iPhone....

That's 'cos you use Pinyin to write Mandarin. Doesn't work for other dialects.

Re:Here's the reason... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 9 months ago | (#44404777)

I don't know where you get this. In my experiences, the Chinese like US people, and Korean dramas are popular in China.

He formed his opinion based on the U.S. media deception about China.

The Chinese people, just like everywhere else, want a better life. When they voluntarily use their money to buy Samsung devices instead of competing devices, its because that device is at least perceived to deliver better than the alternatives.

The idea that the Chinese people dont like Americans is rooted in the belief that they are stupid (as if they would have to be stupid not to want an Apple device) and bigoted (as if they don't want Apple devices simply because Apple is American.)

The free market rocks.

"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (5, Interesting)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 9 months ago | (#44404343)

actually it is, Tim. The Chinese want cheaper phones, and they want phones you can put pirated warez on. Apple doesn't score well in either category.

Better Value Phones to Americans (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 9 months ago | (#44404543)

actually it is, Tim. The Chinese want cheaper phones

Ironically so do Americans it is why Apple are increasingly selling more old products like the 4 and 4S. They also don't want cheaper phones..they may want better value phones. The iphone is a cheap phone its why Apple charge a large mark-up.

Re:Better Value Phones to Americans (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404621)

Even if they offered a cheaper iPhone, they still wouldn't be able to install pirated software on it. It's beyond second nature there...it's almost a pathological need to install unlicensed software. We have an off-shore team in China and we realized that they were using pirated versions of Windows, Office and a whole host of other very reasonably-priced applications, most of which we had enterprise-wide licenses for. We asked them to go through our IT department to get legitimate versions and they agreed. Six months later, we discovered that they've yet to request a single install and are still installing new pirated software. The whole concept of buying software seems alien to them.

Apple Pirates (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 9 months ago | (#44404653)

Even if they offered a cheaper iPhone, they still wouldn't be able to install pirated software on it.

Seriously http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/11/ios-apps-hijack-twitter-accounts-post-false-confessions-of-piracy/ [arstechnica.com] this is my favourite post of a Developer attacking its customer by hijacking Twitter accounts, and posting false “confessions” of piracy.

They simply do not want the iPhone, and piracy is not the reason. Although not being in control of your hardware will definitely have an effect in every market.

Re:"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (2)

FRiC (416091) | about 9 months ago | (#44404589)

It's easier than you think you put warez on iOS devices. Just go to any shop and pay like 10 bucks, and the shop will login using their App Store account, and you can then download anything you want, and these shops advertise openly that they don't sell warez and everything is "genuine". The shops don't give out their passwords, so you just go back once in a while and let them update the apps, for free.

Re:"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (4, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 9 months ago | (#44404665)

Apple already tapped out the Chinese market that was in it for the social image and prestige. Besides, the Chinese iOS store sucks. Badly! Try it some time, it's not a pretty site to see just how limited the market options are and poor quality of apps.

As for Samsung, they're lucky to have lasted this long. ZTE will mop the floor with both Apple and Samsung, combined. ZTE will be for China what LG is for S. Korea.

Re:"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404845)

Samsung is still a lot better than the competition here in China. The locally made phones are extra crappy. I can tell you because I got one. Especially the software is total shit, you can't use Google Play, and you can only use a Chinese alternative which has a poor selection of older apps, most of which are some form of spyware or malaware.

If I had the money I would get one of those extra big Samsung phones to replace both my cell phone and my iPad. I think Samsung will be the leader here for the foreseeable future.

Re:"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404897)

As for Samsung, they're lucky to have lasted this long. ZTE will mop the floor with both Apple and Samsung, combined. ZTE will be for China what LG is for S. Korea.

You do realize Samsung is actually much bigger than any other company including LG in Korea and they both work very closely together? Think the GE of Korea.
Good for ZTE and China but I've never heard of them. Meanwhile my room is full of Samsung and LG phones and monitors.

A fitting statement 60 years since the Korean war.

Price (1)

redmid17 (1217076) | about 9 months ago | (#44404347)

It's price to some extent. However the fact that Samsung has had a larger presence in China for longer is pretty critical. Tim Cook doesn't seem very smart.

It's because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404357)

People in China don't waste their money like Americans (e.g. entertainment, pets, cosmetics, etc).

Re:It's because... (3, Insightful)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 9 months ago | (#44404411)

Chinese people buy these things, too. I've been there and seen it done.

Re:It's because... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about 9 months ago | (#44404773)

The demand for conspicuous consumption among newly wealthy Chinese is even changing some of the retail market in Europe. Chinese tourists in Europe buy much more stuff than European and American tourists do, especially of the expensive stuff. So London high-street stores and French luxury-goods stores are retargeting their sales to aim more at Chinese. There are even luxury-shopping tours where you fly from China to Paris and get taken around to Louis Vuitton and the like, as a package deal (I guess you probably do also see the Eiffel Tower).

Re:It's because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404699)

This isn't the 80s and 90s, China has a middle class now days and they have disposable income.

My question... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 9 months ago | (#44404369)

What somewhat surprises me is that Samsung's phones would be holding out against the torrent of slightly-to-substantially cheaper indigenous handsets in China. Sure, the quality can be somewhere between 'uneven' and 'totally fucking dire'; but Samsung's phones are also well known for being plasticky and horribly skinned, so they aren't competing that aggressively on quality.

Am I being too harsh on Samsung? Are the local offerings Just That Dreadful?

Re:My question... (1)

RandomFactor (22447) | about 9 months ago | (#44404399)

Maybe a little harsh... FTFA

Samsung launched a China-only luxury smartphone together with China Telecom marketed by actor Jackie Chan that retails for about 12,000 yuan ($2,000). The flip phone, named âoeheart to the world,â is encased in a slim black and rose gold metal body. The sleek look â" called âoeda qiâ (elegantly grand) â" is coveted by Chinese when they shop for cars, sofas or phones.

Re:My question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404459)

A Chinese friend has showed me one of the knockoffs and they are not that bad. They can imitate the iPhone well. I've used Samsung and they are pretty good. All together, it doesn't look good for Apple, as seen in the numbers.

Re:My question... (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#44404717)

A Chinese friend has showed me one of the knockoffs and they are not that bad.

I would love to meet the people who engineer these knockoffs. :) What are their design processes, manufacturing deals, etc. Sadly this information probably avoids daylight as Apple would sue their ass.

Re:My question... (1)

Sivaraj (34067) | about 9 months ago | (#44404559)

The quality of chinese brands have improved significantly over the past year. Some of them are better built and much better looking than Samsung models. Especially the new ones with quadcore Mediatek MT6589 chipset and its variants have taken over the market by storm this year. The market here in India too is flooded with models having crazy specs (1.5GHz FHD 13Mpx/5Mpx 2GB/32GB for less than $300).

One problem with these sets is that, you can't flash CyanogenMod or other ROMs. The Mediatek chipsets is not supported by CM and that company isn't sharing info.

Re:My question... (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 9 months ago | (#44404647)

You're mixing up "casing shininess" and "quality". I have a $200 cheap Chinese phone and a $600 (at the time) Galaxy Note (v1), and there's no doubt which is higher quality. The Samsung has a much better screen, camera, sound, buttons, touch reactivity and precision, extra apps. Both are wrapped in plastic though. Both do the job, though.

Made at the same factories by the same workers (1)

knorthern knight (513660) | about 9 months ago | (#44404883)

> What somewhat surprises me is that Samsung's phones would be holding out
> against the torrent of slightly-to-substantially cheaper indigenous handsets in China.
> Sure, the quality can be somewhere between 'uneven' and 'totally fucking dire';

Thanks to short-sighted MBAs who've off-shored manufacturing to Asia, "quality American products" are manufactured at the same factories, by the same workers, that manufacture "cheap foreign junk". Check out Foxconn http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foxconn [wikipedia.org] on Google. Foxconn manufactures the iPad, iPhone, and iPod.

"It's not totally clear why that occurred" (0)

giorgist (1208992) | about 9 months ago | (#44404377)

Damned if he tells them, damned if he doesn't but it is pretty clear. The product is loosing it's "I gotta have it appeal" as well as the innovative lead as well as, wow that looks futuristic/different ... and they are doing nothing about it, partly because their spiritual leader has left down some laws that are hurting apple.

Live in HK (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404383)

I live in HK and can pretty much afford any phone. I use Android base phone. More freedom, more options and customisation features and plenty of Android devices to chose from. Most HK people are smart enough to use Android. Hence, Android phones win over here.

Also... (2)

fullback (968784) | about 9 months ago | (#44404387)

There's a shift in China. Some foreign goods/brands remain as status symbols, but some are losing their luster.

The U.S. has been acting like a bigger dick than usual lately. Chinese consumers would rather not buy American (or Japanese) brands when there's a choice. It doesn't matter that the dick's product are made in China.

That's not my opinion, so don't get mad at me. That's what I was told when I was there last month.

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404519)

Fully agreed. I'll would use Asian made ARM/MIPS CPUs (instead of Intel) and everything else if I could get almost the same performance as "dick's".

US deserves to be sanctioned. They have a horrible record at least here in Asia.

Re:Also... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404695)

I can't attest for consumers but this is seemingly the attitude in industries where only a few strong personalities have majority control. We got a contract from a Chinese company simply because the only other alternative was an American company and they don't want to deal with the Americans because they disliked their government.

Apple doesn't have a strategy for winning here (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about 9 months ago | (#44404389)

Their "strategy" has been to position themselves as a high-end boutique brand. China (and most of the world) wants a solid affordably-priced workhorse. And in Asia Samsung almost certainly has a higher brand recognition than Apple just because they're relatively local (Korean vs. North American) and have been around a lot longer. To win, Apple would need to stop being Apple.

Re:Apple doesn't have a strategy for winning here (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44404531)

I don't know if I'd say "boutique".

Apple prides itself on its engineering, and "deceptive simplicity". The "it just works" strategy is behind most all of their products. And in many ways, that is a really great thing. And if you have a Mac at home and an iPhone or iPad, everything "just works together", too.

But sadly, they've seen fit to combine the "just works" philosophy with a good bit of corporate lock-in, which does nobody any good but Apple, and probably not even Apple in the long term. It is easy to see that more people are buying Android phones now than iPhones, and if you ask them lots of them will say Android is "more open". That's a problem.

(Before anybody jumps on me, I have definitely learned, that "more open" does not necessarily mean "all open". Google has been doing its share of "lock-in" too, but not as aggressively as Apple. If you want to be completely free of lock-in, you'll probably have to go with Cyanogenmod or wait for Firefox OS. Unfortunately Cyanogenmod does not, to the best of my knowledge, work with my current phone carrier.)

Re:Apple doesn't have a strategy for winning here (2)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 9 months ago | (#44404703)

Indeed. And there's a big difference between being locked in to an ecosystem with a single vendor, expensive on top of that (iPhones for the whole family, at $600 a pop, then $1k+ Macs and MacBooks, $300 iPods, $400+ iPads), versus a multivendor ecosystem where I can get a $600 GS4 or HTC One, but also $200 phones for the kids, $100-200 tablets, $50 Android desktops... Sure, the quality of the cheap stuff is not the same, but the big difference is between having the stuff or not having it; how good the stuff is comes a very distant second. I got a phone, a tablet, a netbook, and an Android stick for less than the cost of a single 64GB iPhone...

Re:Apple doesn't have a strategy for winning here (1)

narcc (412956) | about 9 months ago | (#44404863)

Apple prides itself on its engineering, and "deceptive simplicity". The "it just works" strategy is behind most all of their products. And in many ways, that is a really great thing. And if you have a Mac at home and an iPhone or iPad, everything "just works together", too.

Not quite. Apple's strategy is to create the myth of "deceptive simplicity" and "it just works". As any honest iPhone user will tell you, neither of those things are true.

(Just an example: Putting music on an iPhone can only be described as frustrating; particularly if you're using a computer that is not your own. On an Android or BlackBerry phone, you simply copy it over like it's a flash drive. No hassle, no "syncing", and no clunky software required. It just works.)

It's a bit like the old myth "Macs are better for graphics" which has never been true. It kept them alive through the 90's, though it almost wasn't enough. It'll be interesting to see how long they can ride the quality and easy-of-use myths.

the answer is easy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404391)

For most Chinese people an iPhone costs too much money.

Innovation (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#44404393)

It seems all the American manfuctors are like Acer trying to outdo each other with who can make each product the cheapest. Dell and HP typically will pick components on who can make it $.005 cheaper than the rest and then wonder why marketshare is failing.

It is an extreme version of Milton Friedman economic theory where consumers will always buy the largest quantity of the cheapest product in a linear fashion.

Apple I would say is the exception and why they took over the market. Samsun however is now outdoing Apple. Where competitors never thought about the case and saved $.005 by using the cheapest plastic from China (not luxury plastic from Mexico as tthe workers demand more than $1 an hour ...), Samsung made polycarbonite compsities.

While the industry in the 2000s focused on cheap green screens and 8 colors, Samsung focused on 1080p and high pixel densisity. Samsung led the way with bigger screens too.

Samsung's marketshare is well deserved and they are even beating Apple today where they have tiny screens and are lacking in features.

Re:Innovation (0)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 9 months ago | (#44404467)

American manfuctors are like Acer

First of all, "manfuctors"???

Second of all, Acer is American? That would be news to the Taiwanese guy who founded it. ;-)

scale (0)

Tom (822) | about 9 months ago | (#44404427)

Help! The sky is falling! A companies revenue in one country now only dwarves 62 countries [conservapedia.com] !

They should be worried, shouldn't they? With that sharp decline, their revenue in China is now "only" equal to the yearly income of 870 thousand chinese [worldsalaries.org] (or 92 thousand americans [wikipedia.org] ).

I will readily admit I'm an Apple fan. But wtf is this article? A piece of whining, like a super-rich complaining that this years champagne doesn't taste as nice as last years'. I don't think the author has a grasp for the numbers he posted.

Re:scale (1)

lxs (131946) | about 9 months ago | (#44404489)

Yeah who cares about China? They have no exports and not many people live there anyway.

Re:scale (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404491)

Uh, weird spastic response there guy.

Regardless of any outside comparisons a 43% revenue drop in a region as populous as greater china is an eyebrow raiser. Investors aren't lure by how much you make, it's by how much you GROW and the growing chinese middle class is a tasty market to gain traction in. Being shown to be slipping in that market is not the end of the world, but it is definitely significant when it is a market where you previously had more significant presence.

Granted this isn't a sudden panic worthy event but it is still news, and important news at that to those watching the world markets.

Re: scale (1)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | about 9 months ago | (#44404555)

Those talking about revenue are condemned to misunderstand profits.

Also China isn't just any market for reasons that should be obvious.

Finally this is part of a clear downward spiral for Apple. It may be elitist talk about expensive gadgets, but that is the topic of the thread, isn't it?

Re:scale (1)

SpinyNorman (33776) | about 9 months ago | (#44404967)

The story is clearly about the competition between Apple and Samsung, and fact is that Samsung now makes more profit ($5B last in most recent quarter - that's earnings, not revenue) from smart phones than Apple does.

Apple has mostly saturated the US market and to save the stcok price from collapsing needs to find other markets for growth... China was one big hope, but it appears it's not happening. That's certainly news.

Apple's strategy is the same everywhere (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 9 months ago | (#44404431)

Make as good a product as they can, and let profit follow.

Marketshare is not a concern to Apple.

Also, unless you have shut yourself off from the internet, you cannot help but see ENDLESS waves of rumors about some kind of cheaper Apple phone on the way, which would pretty obviously be another strategy to get more customers in China.

It's funny how everyone frames it as a battle against Samsung, when over time Samsung is but one of many players in China that influence how Apple sells products.

Re:Apple's strategy is the same everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404479)

This article has nothing to do with market share. Its about profit, pure and simple. Whereas Samsung is posting large profits and larger volumes, Apple's profits are getting less and less which means they are losing market and also means they are not selling the volume needed to keep their insane profits. It's catching up to them. 5 years, they are in trouble if not just a niche company.

Re:Apple's strategy is the same everywhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404529)

Make as cheap and overpriced a product as they can, and let profit follow. There, fixed that for you!

Re:Apple's strategy is the same everywhere (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44404551)

"It's funny how everyone frames it as a battle against Samsung, when over time Samsung is but one of many players in China that influence how Apple sells products."

Not entirely, because Apple and Samsung have had an on-again, off-again, love-hate relationship.

The reason is that Apple has often contracted with Samsung for critical components of Apple products. However, they often compete with one another on finished products. That makes for strange bedfellows.

Apple making poor product (1)

tuppe666 (904118) | about 9 months ago | (#44404569)

Make as good a product as they can, and let profit follow.

Ironically Samsung now make more profits while Apples continue to shrink. The bottom line is the product is not that good. the iPhone5 has a 1.3 GHz dual core, 1GB of Memory, an 8MP and 1.2MP Camera, 640 × 1,136 pixels at 326 ppi. That compares badly to even mid-range phones let alone manufacturers flagship product. They need a new strategy, not marketing lingo.

why apple is falling in china? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404435)

China / HK market asks for the latest toys, and they feel that bigger is better : they need to compensate.
When I went to HK in february, I was surprised to keep seeing people with samsung note 2 or something like that.
Apple has only one phone, called the same, with not much variation between one model and the model+1.

because chinese have no quality standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404443)

seriously, read the book "poorly made in china" for example. everyone agrees that china is on the rise, becoming the new "superpower". but all what they can do is to copy and manufactur as cheap as possible. without innovators from other countries they wouldnt have any product there. samsung is just cheaper, in price and quality, thats the reason.

Re:because chinese have no quality standards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404567)

There was a time when "Made in Japan" meant copycat designs and dodgy quality. There was a time when "Made in Korea" meant the same. It is a learning process. China, India, and one day Africa, are on track.

Re:because chinese have no quality standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404595)

yea, its a lot easier when someone does the hard work for you

its another to innovate, that's why japan and korea have managed to make a foothold in the market, but during the same given time china and africa are still shitting in holes in the ground

Yeah right (2)

jotaeleemeese (303437) | about 9 months ago | (#44404573)

People deride copying as a dirty word.

Copying is how we humans learn, what you just said is what people used to say of Japanese industry in the 60s.

China has risen from a rural backwards society in the 70s to a society that can manufacture pretty much any high tech stuff you care to mention.

But if sprouting that quasi racist nonsense gives you some comfort all the power to you.

Re:because chinese have no quality standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404581)

neither does apple, over 2/3's of their products in the companies lifetime has had a fatal flaw, but its been neglected over style

Re:because chinese have no quality standards (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 9 months ago | (#44404771)

It's not that everything made in China is cheap crap. They target the quality and price point that the customer orders.

Stagnation (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 9 months ago | (#44404447)

If you got into an Apple store, its rows of the same generation of products. If you have not bought into the cult or are on the upgrade cycle, its a hard sell to convert a new user at the price point with the same old OS/look/feel/range.
Samsung has products ranging from:
low cost glossy colour clamshell phones with the basic functionality a user needs at the local price point.
mid range tablet like products
larger size tablets
Buying Samsung feels good at any price and has a new feel about it.
Now you also have the NSA "inside" branding.
Apple cannot go too cheap, no can it clutter up its product lines again, some may recall the Performa years.
Better, longer local ads? Or learn from a UK drugmaker on how to "grow sales volume" with a nice bump to 'prices" in China?

Re:Stagnation (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 9 months ago | (#44404577)

"Buying Samsung feels good at any price and has a new feel about it."

Definitely a matter of opinion. As another /.er has pointed out, to many people Samsung products have a "plasticky, cheap" feel to them.

Case in point: I recently bought a used Samsung air conditioner. (I didn't buy it because it was Samsung; I bought it because somebody was selling a used air conditioner.) The basic mechanical (i.e., compressor, heat exchangers, etc.) are fine. But the fit and finish sucks. The whole faceplate with the air vanes etc. was cheaply made, and the internal plastic parts it mounted to bent over time, to the extent that I had to jerry-rig the "fresh air/circulate" mechanism so it would even work.

Granted, when you are a company that makes everything from backhoes to washing machines to TVs and smartphones, you probably won't make everything well. But I suspect that Samsung makes pretty much all of its products good, but not great.

Re:Stagnation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404709)

You have to understand though, when it comes to these massive conglomerates under the same name, the different divisions are similar in name only. It may as well be a completely different company when comparing fridges to phones etc.

Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404457)

Per capita nominal[1] GDP (source: Wikipedia)
- USA: US$49,922
- China: US$6,075

Cost of unlocked 16GB iPhone 5 (source: Apple store)
- USA: US$649
- China: RMB 5288 (US$863)

The average US citizen earns more than 8 times the average Chinese citizen. Would you buy a smartphone if it cost a few months of your post-tax income? I can almost buy a (cheap) new car for a few months (above average, post-tax) salary. And while I suspect the Samsung S4 is similarly expensive, I'd quite happily settle for a slower, cheaper variant (feature-phone, shock horror) for something that'll be obsoleted in 1-2 years.

[1] - PPP GDP is appropriate for food, but nominal is more appropriate for smartphones, technology and anything that can be traded internationally.

Re:Cost (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404533)

The average citizen ins't a market. Chinese with incomes above a certain level are the market, and that market is still growing.

Give the people what they want... and cheaply. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404481)

There are two reasons why people I know (myself included) have not bought Apple products.

1. Give us a bigger screen. My wife loves her iPhone and is looking at upgrading to whatever comes next, but after using my Galaxy S3 she would rather lose her familiarity with iOS (and all the apps she has paid for) to get a screen she can actually read.

2. Don't charge the $200 Apple premium. After being dicked around by Telcos, more and more people are buying their phones outright. It's not until you do this, that you suddenly see that an Apple iPhone is over $200 more expensive for a product (like the Galaxy S4, or the HTC One) which is better specced, but far cheaper.

People buying outright is also the same reason people aren't upgrading as much any more. You used to get a new phone every 2 years for free on some contracts, but with the premium commonly being charged people are happy to hold on for three/four years - or until their phone goes bang.

Not putting iOS 7 onto 3GS models is a smart move - it stops all those laggards from upgrading their OS, and forces them to start upgrading their hardware.

Re:Give the people what they want... and cheaply. (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 9 months ago | (#44404585)

1. But that's how it works. We love our old models, but...they just lose out to competition. That's how it works;
2. Charging 200$ is all they got, hell, they cost much more in fact in US. That's their *business* model;
3. Exactly - as soon as you get out of upgrading cycle via contracts, iPhone just doesn't cut it anymore.

Not really - most of current 3GS users are people who don't care about newest iOS.

Re: Give the people what they want... and cheaply. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404651)

"Smart move"? One man's smart move is another man's dick move.

Apple's China strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404547)

With their huge mark-ups for similar products to everyone else, how the hell can Apple compete, other than selling to fanbois?

What do all these numbers mean? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404549)

There's not so many homos in China.

Re:What do all these numbers mean? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44405021)

Well, that was a cheap joke. :D Badam-tsshh...

It's all about cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404563)

App Store is loaded with great app.. that costs money.

In Hong Kong, price is the #1 concern. You can taut all the ease of use and convenience. But the fact is if a Hong Konger can solve a math equation and get a song for free, he would. Copyright is really more like a government slogan then a actual enforced concept. Android, unlike IOS, allow painless load up of bootlegged avi and mp3s. Pirating content is a national sport here in Hong Kong. This is the place where you can hear parent scorning the kid over the dim sum brunch for not downloading the latest CD fast enough.

  If I can get a 7" screen for the price of 5", why not? Especially when the latest shiny phone is not an apple. Also everybody carry a bag in Hong Kong. A few more oz doesn't make a difference when I am carrying a bottle of water, umbrella, extra TP (yes restaurants do NOT provide napkin), another phone (for mainland) and battery charger.

And unlike Samsung, Apple's media campaign in HK is almost non-existence.

Spelling out (1)

Pecisk (688001) | about 9 months ago | (#44404611)

Emmmm....let me try....I can only guess, but...because your business model has no absolutely chance of winning in China? :)

Ohhh, you afraid to said that loud. Ok, I will try again...BECAUSE YOUR BUSINESS MODEL HAS NO NO WAY TO WIN IN CHINA. How about that? :)

They destroy the West 1 screw at a time ... (1)

PythonM (2184020) | about 9 months ago | (#44404615)

Chinese people do not want to be involved in direct confrontation. Samsung manufacture its products in Korea, while every bit of Apple technology (except Apple's logo) was given to Chinese companies. Now nearly evetything Apple is manaufacturing is made in China. Why should they pay so much for the stupid logo? They got the technology in chinese way "1 component at a time". In the past Chinese were destroying its enemies like bugs destroy trees (one leaf at a time) so one day the tree eaten by bugs will collapse without any warning. Now you wounder why North America and Europe is failing!

Too much of a good thing. (4, Interesting)

XiaoMing (1574363) | about 9 months ago | (#44404669)

The irony is, Samsung phones aren't marketed as "special" as iPhones, and that's why the Samsung phones are winning.

To elaborate:
Any relatively affluent Chinese national who's had the privilege of making a trip to the states and is returning to the motherland will most likely have a top-of-the-line Samsonite suitcase full of Coach purses and brand new unlocked apple iPhone 5's (and maybe a couple of iPads), but how many Samsung products will they be bringing? Likely none.

The reason for this is that when quality is an issue, the Chinese have this adamant belief that anything created in China that is exported to be sold to Americans is, without question, of higher quality than the same item were it sold to Chinese consumers. This includes the same iPhone, made in the same factory, by the same people, the "better" one being shipped overseas.

That's why in the mainland, the spoiled middle-class children (starting at around middle school) with re-imported U.S. iPhones will actually look down on those who are using a "domestic" iPhone.

The fact that Samsung has been a major player in Chinese appliances still helps to set it apart from domestic (to China) brands such as Huawei in terms of overall quality, but because Samsung phones are marketed as largely being a different alternative to Apple phones (in terms of features, screen size, etc.), there's less of a need to re-import that je ne sais quoi from the U.S.

But Apple? Those phones are claiming to be the epitome of fit-and-finish, and that's just shooting themselves in the foot in this case.

Samsung understands the Asian market (1)

jools33 (252092) | about 9 months ago | (#44404675)

Its not just the price - Samsung understands the Asian market and makes the product that the market wants, Apple simply doesn't.

Chinese phones and tablets (5, Interesting)

kimvette (919543) | about 9 months ago | (#44404677)

I have a Chinese (LAVA-branded) Android tablet - it was a freebie from a vendor because I order so much from him (several years we were their largest account). He asked me for feedback on it after I had it for a few weeks. I felt bad but had not much good to say about it. It came with the Netflix preloaded (in their official firmware) and the Netflix app would not load movies. No update was available from Netflix at the time so I contacted lavatech. Their response was that they do not support it, that I should delete the app. WTF? Also, the manual clearly stated that the tablet charges via the mini-USB port. It doesn't. It only charges via the DC adapter port, and it uses a near impossible-to-find-size barrel connector.Lava Tech is uninterested in supporting their core products. Their response if something doesn't work according to their documentation, is to simply not use that feature, or they insist I'm doing it wrong (how can you plug in a mini-USB cable incorrectly?!).

I have a GS1000 dashcam (orange menu, a genuine GS1000 not a clone) - another cheap Chinese product. It has all the features I wanted but I ran into a bug. They quickly turned around and gave me a firmware update that fixed the problem I reported but introduced another problem. I emailed them again and they sent me another update (which I still have yet to test because I have been in the middle of moving to New Hampshire). Excellent customer service for a cheap product.

Support from Chinese companies ranges from completely sucktastic to fantastic. Unfortunately the former is far more common. I think the way Samsung and Apple actually stand behind their products, both will take the Chinese market by storm. I wouldn't buy a smartphone from a Chinese company because there is too much risk that the most basic features won't work (like, not being able to make phone calls) and the company will just say "don't use that feature then."

I was in China last month, and asked... (5, Insightful)

Matias (172967) | about 9 months ago | (#44404681)

Almost everyone I asked said that the iPhone screen was too small.

They also said⦠"Why is the iPhone so expensive when it has such a small screen?"

You can buy an Android phone with a gorgeous 5.7" display for half the cost of the iPhone in China. That was the biggest screen I found and it looked more vibrant than the screen on my iPhone 5.

If Apple wants to keep selling phones in China, they need bigger screens. Therefore, you can expect there will be a big screen iPhone. The Chinese market is too big for them to ignore. There's lots of competition now and Chinese consumers have zero brand loyalty.

Re:I was in China last month, and asked... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404797)

The inevitable

The bigger the screen, the smaller the dick of the owner.

Frankly some of the screens that you see people holding up to their ears these days are stupidly large. The Phablet is a clear case here.

not everyone wants phones with HUGE screens. Some people like to used their phone... as a phone. I know that is quaint these days there there it is.

Re:I was in China last month, and asked... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 9 months ago | (#44404979)

The inevitable

The bigger the screen, the smaller the dick of the owner.

Frankly some of the screens that you see people holding up to their ears these days are stupidly large. The Phablet is a clear case here.

not everyone wants phones with HUGE screens. Some people like to used their phone... as a phone. I know that is quaint these days there there it is.

look man, if the phone is the only way for you to browser the web and view pron then you want a big ass screen that can fit big asses.
many of those people do not have pc's and the phone is their (crappy) computer.

Re:I was in China last month, and asked... (4, Interesting)

waferbuster (580266) | about 9 months ago | (#44404873)

I have to agree with this... When my girlfriend broke her iPhone 4, she tried to decide which phone to get. Basically, it came down to the iPhone 5 (with it's tiny screen) or the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (with it's ginormous screen). She ended up with the Note and was happy, especially after all her friends were jealous. After all, creating envy in friends is one of the prime purposes of a premium phone!

Re:I was in China last month, and asked... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404945)

You must have a small dick as she was craving the larger phone. Be careful around blacks and middle eastern men. They'll steal your girl.

Has to do with ecosystems. (2)

mattington (688037) | about 9 months ago | (#44404765)

I've lived in China for the past nine years, and while I'm no expert, I can maybe shed a little light on the actual situation here. While most affluent Chinese own iProducts, and in particular have a bias iPhones, that's not where the market is going. Apple products are more expensive, and Apple has always had supply chain issues in China; most people prefer to buy from a vendor who goes through Hong Kong since you avoid taxes that way. I think the bigger issue is being locked in to Apple's systems. Look at companies like xiaomi.com, they are basically trying to be an Apple clone. Android allows you do to that. This company started building custom roms, then started building phones, and now they have a huge loyal user base. While a lot of people still go for iProducts for the wow appeal, overall there are more fresh things going on on Android, and that's enough to attract customers.

The old Ford's philosphy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404767)

Apple is ok as long as any Model T you want is black. You DON'T want choice when you're an Apple customer. Choice is B-A-D.
Unfortunately Nature and most intelligent customers think choice is good. Choice in terms of models, in terms of colors, in terms of price, in terms of features etc... And that's why Samsung is kicking Apple's ass. Look no further than this.

I had a choice some years ago between buying an Iphone and a Samsung S3. I went with the S3 although it was more costly. Why ? Because of its featureset, because it interoperates without problem with any desktop os. Because 1 second and I can change the battery without going to some approved maintenance centre. Because it interoperates without problems with any other android smartphone. I don't have to pass through some Apple approved cloud to transfer files from my smartphone to my desktop/laptop or some other smartphone. I can install apps from google's playstore, amazon store or samsung's store. I can install apps outside of any appstore. And all this without jailbreaking my device. Do I care if the smartphone is plastic ? No, it's a tool. Nothing more nothing less. I use it for work every day and I couldn't care less it was plastic. Smartphones are not status symbols, they are tools. You want a status symbol ? Buy yourself some Girard Perregaux, ot Philippe Patek watch. Or some jewelery.

What comes around ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404775)

Apple outsourced all their development and manufacturing to China. Now they struggle to understand the wave of Chinese competitors that suddenly arrived? Interesting.

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44404787)

Looking at the slashdot comments it seems like nobody really knows why either... ;)

iOS does not support Cantonese! (2, Informative)

divec (48748) | about 9 months ago | (#44404991)

Here's a big hint for Tim: on iOS, you can't write a custom keyboard. On Android you can. This is a really big deal in Hong Kong, because iOS has no support for Cantonese-based Chinese input. The best you can do is a kludgy app where you have to copy and paste the result (see https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canton-guang-dong-pin-yin/id385519764?mt=8 [apple.com] ).

Therefore, the Cantonese user is hamstrung by Apple's lack of support for the Cantonese-speaking market, together with their locked-down approach which prevents third party developers from filling the hole.

Compare this with the situation on Android, where there are at least five Cantonese-based keyboard input methods, together with Cantonese voice recognition. Why is it surprising if Hong Kongers find iOS seriously deficient?

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