Tomahawk, WI 01/13/2014 (BasicsMedia) –Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has already skimmed the cream from the western countries and achieved dominance at least in the American markets. Data for the other western markets are awaited, but the data from the American markets, one of the key markets for Apple, have shown that the company is leading the sales. The company is now turning its focus eastwards and China is expected to be the next battleground.

Importance of China

China is the most populous country in the world and its economic position is improving day by day. As a result it is now an important factor in every ones radarscopes. Many luxury brands are setting shop here to take advantage of affluence. China has always been an important market for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL). But China is also an enigma. There is a huge market for brown goods, products that are mirror images of famous brands but retail at a fraction of the price. Cost is one of the major considerations but reducing prices for this market may affect the brand image in the rest of the world. So companies like Apple prefer to wait till the sales in the rest of the world have reached near saturation point before slashing prices.

With the deal with China Mobile Ltd. (ADR) (NYSE:CHL) under its belt, Apple is on the list of all three major carriers in mainland China. The first two days of the pre-orders saw China Mobile booking 100,000 units and 150,000 units of iPhone 5S – with contract and unlocked versions respectively. The other two operators had booked 270,000 units of iPhone 5S within 48 hours of pre-order acceptance while 400,000 to 500,000 unlocked units were sold in the first two days.

The Chinese New Year

All the three carriers have slashed their prices and one can expect a positive effect on sales. Experts are of the opinion that these deals will push iPhone sales from 2.7 million units per month to at least 2.8-2.9 million units per month.

The other positive for Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) as well as other companies is the lunar new year to be celebrated on Thursday. The Lunar New Year is celebrated in China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Apple will also be offering discounts on its website for one day. Just as Christmas is celebrated in the western countries by distributing presents, the Lunar New Year also sees a distribution of presents among friends and relatives. Sales of big ticket items see a large surge during this day. Apple is offering discounts on its entire range, from iPhones to iPads to even Macs. This year Apple is offering discounts of $57.83 (350 yuan) on all iPhone models and 220 yuan to 290 yuan on iPad mini and iPad Air respectively.

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) has also opened its 10th brick-and-mortar store in mainland China. The deal with China Mobile, with a carrier base of 760 million users, is also expected to benefit the company. The third initiative is the launch of its official retail page on Tmall.com.

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