An Apple Store in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. Photo: IC
At its first product launch this year, Apple released a purple iPhone12, a new iMac in seven different colors, and an AirTag gadget for tracking lost items. However, compared to the hype he created before the event, his customers in China were disappointed with the company’s speed of innovation.
“I don’t see anything particularly innovative other than the different colors,” commented a user on Weibo, the social media platform in China.
The latest iPhone 12, which has the exact same configuration as the one released in October of last year – aside from its purple color – has drawn as much attention as Chinese consumers have suspected. As of Monday afternoon, “is the purple iPhone a stupid tax” had become one of the hottest topics on Weibo.
The sentiment was reflected in the market’s reaction to Apple and companies in its supply chain. Apple’s stock price on Tuesday fell more than 1.28% after the launch event, lowering the company’s market valuation by about $ 29 billion.
Additionally, the shares of some companies in Apple’s supply chain have fallen this year. Until the product’s release on Tuesday, 22 Apple-related companies had seen price cuts of more than 10% this year.
Luxshare Precision Industry, once hailed as the top company in Apple’s supply chain, has seen its shares fall by more than 39% so far this year.
“As iPhone sales fluctuate, being an Apple supplier isn’t as prestigious as it once was,” Xiang Ligang, chief executive of the Beijing-based Information Consumption Alliance, told the Global Times on Friday. . “Many factories are also taking orders from Chinese brands, such as Huawei and Vivo.”
Apple’s supply chain boosted the valuation of many of its suppliers a few years ago, Xiang said, especially when iPhone sales started to soar from around 2010.
According to media reports, from 2010 to the end of 2017, a stock price index of Apple’s suppliers rose 1079%, compared with a 59% increase for the Shanghai Composite Index.
However, Yan Zhanmeng, director of a Beijing-based mobile search company, said Apple’s share of the Chinese market was undergoing “subtle changes” as more local brands caught up.
According to statistics from CINNC, a market research company, Apple ranked fifth in the Chinese market in January, behind OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi and Huawei, all of which are Chinese brands.
“Compared to Chinese brands, Apple is becoming complacent about innovation, especially since it was a pioneer of smartphones years ago,” said Yan.
Apple is also struggling with the shortage of semiconductor chips caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted Apple’s supply chain. According to media reports, the chip shortage weighed on the timely delivery of some MacBook and iPad products earlier this month.
Apple’s product releases on Tuesday were eagerly awaited by some Apple fans after the event was reportedly delayed from the end of March.
“I have been buying Apple products for years, and I would still buy Apple products, but its technological advantage over other brands is shrinking,” said a user known as Shi. “Local brands generally catch up with all versions of Apple very quickly.”