Apple has missed the boat in China, says Lenovo chief

Robert Clark
05 Jul 2010

Apple is missing opportunities in China’s PC and smartphone markets, according to Lenovo founder and chairman Liu Chuanzhi.

“We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China,” Liu told the Financial Times. “If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.”

Lenovo, which bought IBM’s PC business six years ago, is China’s largest PC manufacturer, with 30% of the mainland market.

Liu, who founded the company 26 years ago, said that while other big PC firms were pouring resources into China, Apple was staying away.

He also said that Lenovo’s newly-launched smartphone, the Lephone, was able to compete with the iPhone because it was customized for Chinese users.

The iPhone is officially available in China only through China Unicom, the second-largest cellco, which has a poor reputation among high-end mobile users. Unicom’s prices, which are higher than those of gray market iPhones, have also held back demand for the device.

Apple will launch a new retail store in Shanghai this Saturday and expects to have 25 outlets operating by the end of next year, the FT reported.


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