Recently, China's state-controlled media has had Apple in their sights as they've released a number of reports alleging that the iPhone warranties Apple affords to its customers in China are not as favorable as those it grants to consumers in other countries. Apple was quick to respond to the allegations, noting that its warranty policies in China are "more or less" the same in the U.S. as they are anywhere else in the world. Further, Apple emphasized that any discrepancy in warranty policies from country to country all operate within the framework of each particular country's laws.
Nevertheless, China's media continued to go after Apple in state-owned papers.
So Apple today took things a step further, with CEO Tim Cook penning a letter on Apple's China website issuing an apology for any perceived slights or unfavored treatment towards Chinese consumers.
Cook's letter can be read, in part, below, courtesy of Google Translate.
In the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple in China repair and warranty policy. We are not only a profound reflection on these views, together with relevant departments to carefully study the “Three Guarantees”, and also look at our maintenance policy communication and combing our management specifications of Apple Authorized Service Provider. We are aware that, due to the lack of external communication in this process and lead to the speculation that Apple arrogance, do not care or do not attach importance to consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers.
Cook's letter also outlined four ways Apple will be improving its service in China
- Improved iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy
- Provide a concise and clear on the website of the official Apple repair and warranty policy statement
- Increase the intensity of the supervision and training of Apple Authorized Service Provider
- Related issues to ensure that consumers can easily contact Apple Feedback Service
Indeed, much of Apple's growth potential lies in China, so it's certainly in Apple's best interest to smooth things over as quickly as possible.