Apple’s move to control the distribution of iOS software to Chinese customers has left the US tech industry reeling.
Apple’s new approach to the world of apps has prompted complaints from US tech firms, which are concerned that the new distribution model will make it harder for them to compete against China’s Apple Stores, and from developers, who are concerned about the effects on their business models.
Google announced the move in December, and it has since led to the opening of new Chinese Apple Stores in major US cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Miami.
Apple announced that it would take the lead in the distribution, rather than Apple’s own third-party app store, but Apple also announced that the Chinese version of its iPhone and iPad software would be available for download in the US.
As well as providing developers with the ability to sell apps, the new model also opens the door to a whole host of new ways for Chinese users to bypass local censors and bypass the country’s restrictions on the dissemination of content.
The US tech sector is still in the early days of China’s market dominance, but its impact on the industry is already being felt.
Apple is now the dominant smartphone manufacturer in China, and its iPhones account for about one-fifth of the global market.
Apple now operates more than 80 of the world’s most important mobile app stores, including China’s Tencent, Amazon, Apple Music and Google Play.
However, Apple is also under pressure from the US government, which has launched an investigation into Apple’s dealings with China.
Apple has already been fined $US6.9 billion for its dealings with the government, including its sale of its patents and technology.
Last week, the Department of Justice filed a civil lawsuit against Apple, alleging that it broke the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by selling software to China without the knowledge of the government.
This investigation comes on the heels of an earlier investigation by the Department’s Criminal Investigation Division, which said Apple broke the FCPA by engaging in the same practice with Chinese companies.
Meanwhile, the company has also been sued by the European Commission, alleging it failed to comply with its EU-wide anti-money laundering directive.
China has also demanded the return of a $US2 billion ($2.2 billion) investment Apple made in South Korea, in the wake of the scandal.
In response to the allegations against Apple in the United States, the Chinese government issued a statement on Monday, claiming the company was responsible for the “economic and social damage” caused by the US crackdown on its businesses.
In its announcement on December 17, Apple promised to offer free iPhone apps for local users, a move that will be seen as an important step in pushing back against the new regime in China. “
China’s position is clear: US companies should stop interfering in Chinese domestic affairs.”
In its announcement on December 17, Apple promised to offer free iPhone apps for local users, a move that will be seen as an important step in pushing back against the new regime in China.
But in the short term, Apple’s strategy is likely to backfire.
Apple currently has only two Chinese stores, in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Many of its biggest rivals in the mobile market are also competing in China and in the Chinese market with more than 30,000 Apple Stores.
According to Apple’s latest quarterly financial report, released in January, its iPhone revenue fell by 5.9 per cent year-on-year to $US1.08 billion.
Its Mac revenue fell 5.6 per cent to $2.9bn, and iPad revenue fell 8.2 per cent from $1.7bn.
Analysts say Apple will struggle to compete with China’s increasingly popular mobile devices.
“There is no doubt that the iPhone is the dominant technology in China,” said Peter Hanham, chief Asia analyst at consultancy Ovum.
“And the Apple Store experience in China will be a disaster for Apple, which will struggle.”