Heightened competition coming from both Western and local makers of inexpensive Android handsets coupled with lack of new product announcements and state-run media increasingly blasting Apple while favoring domestic companies have all added up to market share losses and a fourteen percent drop in revenue in what Tim Cook often refers to as Apple’s “most important market” that is China.
Realizing it is losing ground in the massive 1.33 billion people market due to politics and competition, Apple has apparently responded by beefing up hiring in China, the Wall Street Journal has learned. Among the positions Apple seeks to fill: an environmental affairs program manager, a security specialist and a store specialist…
According to the Journal, the environmental affairs program manager will be based in China’s capital Beijing and charged with ensuring that “Apple’s products and processes meet and surpass regional and national environmental regulatory requirements.”
With Apple’s partner Foxconn being under fire over labor conditions at its plants, small wonder that Apple is looking to employ someone to attend to those concerns full time.
Another major concern is that Apple is losing sales over its inadequate retail presence in China. Indeed, Apple runs only eight company-owned outlets in the region.
According to the newspaper, Apple is keen on expanding its retail presence in China as it appears to be hiring a bunch of retail specialists and store leaders. All told, Apple is advertising some two hundred job openings in the region, most of them senior positions.
The development comes on the heels of reports of Apple’s hiring spree for its upcoming research and development center in Taiwan, where hardware and software engineers are expected to “work on the next-generation of iPhone product development”.
As smartphones continue chipping away at feature phones and with BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) rising fast to eventually overtake the United States as the top smartphone market in five years time, Apple is finding itself under tremendous pressure to release a mid-tier iPhone, sold off-contract and unsubsidized to emerging markets.