2015年1月28日 星期三

Apple's China iPhone Coup Shows Angela Ahrendts Is Worth Every Penny【戰略】

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Apple's China iPhone Coup Shows Angela Ahrendts Is Worth Every Penny

On Tuesday, Apple AAPL +5.67% posted its highest quarterly profit in history: $18 billion, on a staggering $74.6 billion of revenue, much of it from holiday sales of iPhones and Mac laptops.
The Cupertino, Calif. tech giant reported that sales in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were up 70% on the same period a year ago, with $16.1 billion of its worldwide revenues — 21.5% — coming from that region alone.
As the cherry on top of this bonanza earnings day, Apple is now the top selling smartphone maker in China, according to new stats from research firm Canalys.
My colleague Parmy Olson notes what a huge jump this is for the gadget company in the Chinese market: in the last seven quarters its highest position in the country has been 4th, and in the last quarter of 2013 it was in 6th place.
Now, it’s beating out low-cost competitors Xiaomi and Huawei, even though the average selling price of the iPhone is nearly double that of their handsets.
What’s been missing from Tuesday’s coverage has been mention of a major force behind Apple’s recent Chinese expansion, at least at the store and e-commerce level: the company’s head of retail Angela Ahrendts.
Since coming on board in May 2014, the former Burberry CEO has made growth in China one of her top three priorities, alongside mobile payments and revamping the Apple Store shopping experience, according to an in-depth primer on her plans by 9to5Mac.
Days into her tenure, she started working directly with Apple’s head of retail in China, kicking off plans to grow the iPhone purveyor’s store presence on the mainland from 10 to 30 by 2016. (By October, that figure had been boosted to 40.)
Since then, Ahrendts has been recruiting workers from U.S. Apple stores to move to China as she increases the tech company’s footprint in the region. Shereportedly told colleagues that so far 200 retail workers have offered to relocate.
In a rare interview with China’s Xinhua news site earlier this month, the Apple retail chief unveiled plans to open 5 stores there within 5 weeks, in time for the Chinese new year. Job ads show Apple is currently hiring for 15 more Chinese locations. In China, there are 30 cities the size of Paris, most of them still without Apple Stores.
Of course, Ahrendts had nothing to do with some of the biggest contributors to Apple’s gains in the Chinese market: its decision to go large with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, which finally gave it products that met the Chinese appetite for larger screen sizes, nor the company’s crucial distribution deal with the country’s largest wireless provider, China Mobile .
What she’s responsible for is ensuring shoppers on the mainland have access to its handsets and tablets without sacrificing Apple’s famous online and in-store service.
As Xinhua reported: “The biggest challenge she sees is keeping up with demand while providing the same global customer service standards.”
So far, judging by Tuesday’s results, so good. For those wondering why Apple deems Ahrendts worthy of a $73.4 million pay package versus CEO Tim Cook’s $9 million, look to her Burberry track record in Asia and her laser-focus on China.

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