Tim Cook Reveals Apple’s Plans for China

Tim Cook’s official visit to China didn’t just include socializing while visiting Apple Stores and undertaking a meeting with the Chinese Minister of IT. According to a Reuters report, Apple’s CEO and China Mobile’s Chairman Xi Guohua met today to discuss “matters of cooperation”, which suggests the ongoing talks between the two companies could finally result a deal.

When asked by Chinese reporters, Tim Cook highlighted once again the importance of the Chinese market to Apple, but he didn’t disclose any information, saying they have no plans to make an announcement yet. He went on to say that China has always been most important to the company and now the second largest market, and he is confident that the country will become Apple’s biggest market within the next few years.

Apple already has eleven stores in the Greater China region and a growing number of distributors, but they won’t stop here, Cook says: the company plans to expand the number of Apple Stores to over twenty-five.

There are some roadblocks, though, such as the prior approval required before Apple can list its products in the country, but they are working hard to shorten the process and the time it takes new releases to reach the country. In fact, this is now among Apple’s top priorities, Cook highlighted.

As the most recent numbers show, the lack of a deal with China Mobile has hurt the Cupertino company’s fortunes lately, despite the fact that negotiations started as early as 2009. The main reason for the failed negotiations is the world’s largest wireless carrier, China Mobile’s 3G network, which differs from what the rest of the global wireless players use. A China-Mobile-compatible iPhone 5S, or maybe a cheaper iPhone, could trigger a deal between the two parties, and recent rumors seem to reinforce this.

The meeting with China Mobile chairman was scheduled after Tim Cook had already met with high-level executives from China Unicom.

[Via: Reuters]