Yesterday we reported that Tim Cook, in an effort to assuage criticisms over Apple's warranty policies in China, posted an apology letter on Apple's Chinese website. Therein, Cook stressed that Apple does care about consumer feedback and outlined a number of steps Apple will take to improve its customer service in China.
Some of these measures included:
- 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
China is a key country for Apple's continued growth. Indeed, once Apple secures a contract to sell the iPhone to China Mobile - the world's largest cell phone carrier - iPhone sales may skyrocket into the stratosphere.
All Things D adds:
So why did Apple bother? Short answer: The company’s sales in China hit $22.5 billion in fiscal 2012. That’s more than double what they were in 2011, and it represents about 15 percent of Apple’s total revenue for the year. China is crucial to Apple’s future growth. Indeed, it’s so important that the company recently made Greater China a new operating segment. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said earlier this year, “China is currently our second-largest market. I believe it will become our first. … It’s a very, very important country to us.”
In any event, the Chinese state-run media seemed to welcome Apple's apology. In a quick instant, Apple went from a targeted company to beloved. Well, perhaps 'beloved' is a bit too strong of a word, but Cook's apology really seemed to do the trick. The Global Times, a state-run paper in China, wrote today that Apple's apology was very welcome and will work to ease the tension between the two parties.
"The company's apology letter has eased the situation," the paper explained, "softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market ... Its reaction is worth respect compared with other American companies,"
The Chinese Foreign Ministry also heaped praise upon Apple for "conscientiously" addressing the complaints of Chinese consumers, with spokesman Hong Lei noting that, "We approve of what Apple said."