Apple opened a new store in Chongqing Municipality in southwest China on Saturday, bringing the number of Apple stores in the Chinese mainland to 11. Another Apple store is expected to be opened on Aug. 2 in Wuxi in east China's Jiangxu province, about a one-hour drive from Shanghai. Apple CEO Tim Cook said last year the company will open more than 25 stores in China in the future. In other news, Foxconn's Terry Gou is pumped up over the next generation of iPhone's and is personally involved to ensure that their production lines are ready for mass production.
Although Apple declined to disclose future plans, its Chinese website lists job opportunities in Apple stores in 16 provinces and municipalities in China, including east China's Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui provinces, as well as Guizhou in southwest China. Among the listed locations, only Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, Sichuan, and Chongqing currently have Apple stores.
The store opening followed news on Monday that nearly half of China's population, or 632 million people, are internet users, while mobile Internet users reached 527 million.
An ABI Research report showed that the average subsidy from operators for Samsung handsets is 84% and the average iPhone subsidy is 70%, meaning most upfront costs for the two brands were covered by operators. In Beijing and Shanghai, telecom operators even paid to advertise these high-end gadgets.
Sales in China for Apple's third-quarter revenues report were unexpectedly robust. Apple's iPhone sales increased nearly 50% in the second quarter of this year. Cook was quoted as saying, "China, honestly, was surprising to us," adding that "the unit growth was really off the charts across the board."
Foxconn's Terry Guo Pumped Over the new iPhones Production
In a secondary report today, DigiTimes is reporting that Foxconn Electronics has been actively preparing for production of 4.7- and 5.5-inch new iPhones at its factories in China since July and Chairman Terry Guo has been personally supervising the preparation on the spot to make sure that production lines are in optimal condition, according to industry sources.
In comparison with the iPhone 5, the new iPhones are thinner and therefore are more difficult to assemble, the sources said.
Foxconn has landed orders to initially produce 70% of the 4.7-inch iPhones and 100% of the 5.5-inch models, the sources noted. For the two models, Apple expects total shipments of 70-80 million units by the end of 2014, the sources said.