Fruity tax dodger Apple expects the Internet to be alive at the moment talking about its coming iPhone 7 release. It is a sign that its marketing has generated enthusiasm. However, in key markets like China the discussion is the same as a Trappist monastery after a laryngitis outbreak.
The iPhone 7 is basically just the iPhone 6 with a better chip and terrible Bluetooth wireless sound system. While the Tame Apple Press enthuses about the phone, most people who know about technology feel that there is not much to offer.
The Chinese market is also discerning and less influenced by Apple’s marketing than Jobs’ Mob would like. This time, observers are looking for mention if the iPhone 7 and finding tumbleweed instead.
Posts on China’s popular Sina Weibo microblogging site show the iPhone 6, which took China by storm in 2014 with its new, larger screen, attracted around 15 times more comments in the month before launch than this year’s model.
Apple’s Greater China sales dropped by a third in April-June, albeit after more than doubling a year earlier, and revenue was down by more than a quarter to $8.8 billion – around a fifth of its total sales. Its 7.8 percent market share ranked fifth in China, trailing local vendors Huawei, OPPO and Vivo, which together accounted for 47 percent.
Apple also saw its value added services such as ibooks and movies closed in China after Beijing imposed strict curbs in March on online publishing.
Ben Cavender, Shanghai-based director at China Market Research Group, who described current consumer interest in China as “muted”.
Strategy Analytics claims that iPhone shipments in China will decline 20 percent in the second half of this year to 21 million from a year ago.
Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said that Apple was struggling with consumer ‘iPhone fatigue’ in China, while competition from Huawei, Oppo and others remains fierce,” said.
Concerns that Apple has hit “peak iPhone” have harmed the firm’s shares this year, with the stock price up just 2.35 percent.