Speaking to the Financial Times, Lenovo CEO Liu Chuanzhi discussed his company’s plans to enter the mobile market with its upcoming Android-based LePhone smartphone, and also took some time to heap praise upon Steve Jobs while simultaneously expressing joy that Apple “doesn’t care about China.”
We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.
Lenovo’s PCs currently own 30% of the PC market in China, and while Apple is slowly turning its attention towards China, it currently only operates a few Apple Stores in the country. That, however, is poised to change in the coming months as Apple has plans to open up 25 new retail stores by the end of 2011 and 2 stores in Shanghai this year,
Apple, of course, also sells the iPhone in China, but sales of the device there haven’t been record breaking due to the device’s relatively high price tag, the choice of only 1 carrier, and the lack of Wi-FI as is mandated by Chinese law. Still, China remains an attractive market not only for Apple, but for all tech companies looking to take advantage of China’s bursting population of 1.3 billion.
That said, it’s not as if Apple hasn’t seen any success in the country. During Apple’s most recent earnings conference call back in April, Apple COO Tim Cook stated that revenue from China during the first half of the 2010 fiscal year came in at around $1.3 billion, which marks an impressive 200% increase year over year.
Closing out the article, Chuanzhi predicted that China will eventually “replace the US as a global trend-setter in technology”, explaining that other tech companies will have to adjust their technological roadmaps to align with Chinese tastes. The one exception? Apple.
“Steve Jobs is a genius,” Chuanzhi stated, “He is the exception to my rule. My theory is that a manager needs to be the string on which he puts one pearl after another. But Jobs himself is a big pearl.”