In China, a slow shift away from Apple's iPhone, iPad
According to a new report, Chinese customers seem to be moving toward devices made by Samsung and other manufacturers – and away from the Apple iPhone and iPad.
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And now local manufacturers that make accessories for the iPad and iPhone are starting to inch away from Apple. According to a new report in Bloomberg, "thousands" of Chinese companies are diversifying their offerings, concentrating in part on accessories for more affordable hand-held devices.
"The market is now moving toward Samsung and brands from China, so we’ve enlarged our product line," Vincent Kwok, chief executive officer of a Chinese-based accessory maker called Magic Kingdom, told Bloomberg. "Expanding our product line has reduced the risk for us. To focus on Apple is too dangerous."
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Apple's problems in China are indicative of a wider issue for the company, which has been accused of not innovating fast enough under the direction of CEO Tim Cook. Last year, Apple released the iPhone 5 – a critically-acclaimed, top-selling device that still managed to miss many analyst estimates. Next month the Cupertino company is widely expected to release a pair of new iPhones: A new flagship device and a cheaper handset, possibly called the iPhone 5C.
But there remains concern that the phones, which would likely resemble the iPhone 5, may not be enough of a step forward for Apple.
Which is not to say that Apple doesn't still have a few tricks up its sleeve. Reports in recent weeks have indicated that the company may release a gold-colored iPhone – in the past, iPhones shipped only in either black or white – or even an iPhone 5C with a scratch-resistant exterior.
Whether that will be enough for consumers in China – or the rest of the world, for that matter – remains to be seen.