Tim Cook surprises Honor of Kings gamers in Chengdu Apple Store, China

A picture of Tim Cook at the Chengdu Apple Store in China
(Image credit: Tim Cook)

Tim Cook has delighted attendees at an Honor of Kings event in an Apple Store in China, as the company seeks to lure users with the incredible gaming performance of the new iPhone 15 Pro.

Honor of Kings, with over 100 million daily active players, is the biggest multiplayer online battle arena game in the world and there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of it. With nothing but an iPhone and an internet connection, you can get access to one of Tencent’s largest games. 

Taking to Weibo, one of the largest social media platforms in China, Tim Cook thanked Chinese gamers for their support of Honor of Kings and, by extension, Apple. This was accompanied by a twenty-five-second clip of Tim Cook interacting with customers in the Chengdu Apple Store — showing off gameplay with a brand-new iPhone 15 Pro. 

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iPhone 15 sales are down 4.5% in China compared to last year’s iPhone 14, despite its preorder figures being better. It is a luxury device and the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the most expensive Pro Max model we’ve ever seen due to its extra storage capabilities. 

As well as this, China’s government iPhone Ban could result in a worse view of the company as a whole so Tim Cook attending this event feels like one of many steps Apple will take to brighten their image to the Chinese market. 

As we can see from the huge Honor of Kings player figures, Chinese gamers have connected to mobile gaming in a way that Western markets haven’t quite yet. In the US, Monopoly GO! Is currently the most-played game at just 6.5 million daily users, a fraction of Honor of Kings. 

With that impressive A17 Pro chip in the new iPhone 15 Pro models, Tim Cook thinks iOS is the ‘best gaming platform out there’ and this feels like an effort to court a brand new type of iPhone user — the type who will log into Honor of Kings daily. This seems like just one of the steps Apple is about to take to make gaming much better on its devices. 

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James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.