If you've been following Apple
's recent quarterly earnings, this news won't come as a shock. But to most, it definitely will. The nation most commonly associated with Apple knockoffs may soon become the nation that's contributing the most to Apple's bottom line. It's a wild shift from even ten years back, when Apple's sales in China weren't even worth bragging about. But with the advent of the iPhone
, a new swath of consumers in mainland China have fallen head over heels for the company, and they're showing their adoration by opening up their wallets in a major way.
A new report pegs CEO Tim Cook as having made his second trip to China since taking over as head of Apple, and during an interview with China's state-run Xinhua news agency, he noted: "China is currently our second largest market. I believe it will become our first. I believe strongly that it will."
In recent quarters, Apple's massive cash coffers have shown that the minority of that money is in America; the rest is in overseas markets. And, naturally, China is a major one. Presently, Apple only has 11 retail locations across the whole of mainland China and Hong Kong, but Cook did seem to think that the company would be investing more there soon in order to take advantage of the skyrocketing growth. He said: "We are continuing to invest in retail stores here and will open many more over the next several years. We have some great sites selected, our manufacturing base is here, and we have incredible partners here. So it's a very very important country to us."
Cook's trip to China was mostly to meet with potential business partners, Apple employees and customers, and government officials. In order to get an even larger hold of the Chinese market, Apple will need to become buddy-buddy with the nation's wireless carriers. It sure seems like those relationships are well on their way to being forged.