Tim Cook heads to China

Apple’s Tim Cook is trying to save his company’s bottom line by popping over to China to sort out the disappointing sales behind the bamboo curtain.

Cook had been expecting to come barnstorming into China on the back of the iPhone 5, but was disappointed when the shiny toy was greeted by the sort of collective yawn which caused an earthquake in California.

It is not often that China gets a visit from a religious leader and Cook’s is the second time in less than a year.

Part of the reason for Apple’s woes in China is that it has not been able to convince people to part with a lot of money for technology which will be out of date in a year.

Analysts think that Apple needs to do more to rally its partners to include China Mobile, the country’s top telecoms carrier. In China, the iPhone is currently sold through Apple’s seven stores, resellers and through China Unicom and China Telecom. This is tiny coverage for what should be a huge market – where China Mobile is the biggest player.

But China Mobile and Apple have a problem in that the outfit uses a different 3G network from most of the world. It also does not want to pay Apple huge amounts of subsidies.

Apple’s spokesperson in China, Carolyn Wu, declined to tell Reuters if Cook would be meeting with China Mobile executives while he is there.

According to Reuters, Cook met with the Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei, where they discussed the development of the smartphone industry and innovation trends.