Apple has announced that it has sold over two million iPhone 5 handsets in China after just three days since its official launch. The iPhone 5 went on sale in China on Friday December 14 and by end of play on Sunday, Apple had sold over 2 million devices. The roll out doesn't stop in China either; more countries will get the iPhone 5 soon making a total of 100 countries by the end of this year.
"Next year we are going to bring some production to the U.S. on the Mac. We’ve been working on this for a long time, and we were getting closer to it. It will happen in 2013. We’re really proud of it. We could have quickly maybe done just assembly, but it’s broader because we wanted to do something more substantial. So we’ll literally invest over $100 million. This doesn’t mean that Apple will do it ourselves, but we’ll be working with people, and we’ll be investing our money."
The iPhone 5, along with the Wi-Fi only versions of the iPad 4 and iPad mini would go on sale in China within the next few weeks. According to Apple, the iPhone 5 will debut on Friday, December 14, and the iPads will debut on Friday, December 7.
Foxconn workers at its Zhengzhou factory supposedly held a strike yesterday involving three to four thousand iPhone 5 production line workers. The strike was apparently called because workers were unhappy with being asked to work during holidays and overly strict demands on product quality without necessary training; the news comes from a report by China Labor Watch.
Apple announced today that the new iPad will launch in China this month -- more precisely on Friday, July 20, 2012. While manufactured in China, it's taken Apple four months longer to get their third generation tablet into the Chinese market.
Despite the hurdles, China remains one of Apple's largest, and still fastest growing markets. Increasingly, Apple is recording substantial portions of their revenue beyond U.S. borders.
Baidu, China's most prominent search engine, has an ad revenue sharing agreement in place with Apple, according to a recent phone interview. There aren't any details on exactly how much of a cut Apple is getting, but apparently it's similar to what Baidu has in place with Google for their Android handset. An analyst estimated that Baidu distributes less than 10% of mobile ad revenue with manufacturers.
Chinese officials have confirmed that Apple is looking to open new stores in Chengdu and Shenzhen, the home town of Apple's major manufacturing partner, Foxconn. Apple only has to get an environmental permit before having final approval for the Shenzhen store, while the Chengdu location has been approved since late May.
A Hong Kong-based activist group called The Student & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior has recently issued a report concluding that very little has change in terms of working conditions since the Fair Labor Association published the results of their in-depth audit.
China Mobile has confirmed that it is in talks with Apple over bringing the iPhone officially to its network. China Mobile’s chairman Xi Guohua told its shareholders about the talks although there is still no news if a deal has been agreed.