Apple hypes largest Asia store yet, as it looks to conquer China

The company talks up its third store in Beijing, as it works to improve its position in China, where it recently saw a decline in the smartphone market.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
One of Apple's retail stores in China.
One of Apple's retail stores in China. Apple

Apple touted a new retail store in Beijing today, as it looks to pump up its presence in China's huge market for smartphones and other tech products, where it's recently seen a decline.

At a media preview, Apple Senior Vice President John Browett talked up what will be the company's third store in China's capital city and -- at three stories and more than 300 employees -- its largest in Asia.

The store is located in one of Beijing's most famous shopping areas, Wangfujing street. Browett also confirmed that another Apple store is scheduled to open in Shenzhen and said the company has aggressive plans for further expansion, with the goal of one day serving "every customer in every city," according to The Next Web.

Apple needs a big boost in China. A recent report from IDC found that the company's Chinese smartphone market share had dropped to 10 percent in the second quarter, from almost half during the prior year's quarter. Apple actually finished in fourth place behind Samsung, Lenovo, and ZTE.

But that could change before too long, with both China Unicom and China Telecom planning to offer the iPhone 5 around the end of the year, leaving China Mobile as the only one of the three major Chinese providers still without the iPhone.

The absence of the phone on China Mobile is largely because of the phone's lack of support for the TD-SCDMA network used by the carrier. However, a recent teardown of the new iPhone by iFixit revealed a Qualcomm modem that can talk to TD-SCDMA networks.

Apple has also reportedly spoken with China Mobile about offering the iPhone to its subscribers, according to the carrier's chairman. But there's been no recent word of any progress from either company.