On March 10, CNN reported that Chinese consumers were buying up a new wearable technology product. The China Apple Watch was already a huge success.
How had the Chinese managed to get the Apple Watch before its official April 24 launch?
The answer is surprisingly simple. These aren’t real Apple Watches. Instead, they’re clones of the upcoming Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) product release. Priced at $40-$80, the rip-off watches run on the Android operating system and are designed to look like Apple’s newest product.
Of course, the real Apple Watch launch is happening Friday. That’s when the product will be delivered to customers in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.
The U.S. is clearly the most important market for Apple’s products. But increasingly China is also a major player. Last quarter, Apple generated one-fifth of its sales from China. Looking forward to 2015, Apple Watch sales in China will be very important to Apple’s success.
That’s because China is also a high growth market. Last quarter, Apple’s sales in China surged 70%. The launch of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in China helped the company’s sales in the country top $16 billion. China contributes to 21% of Apple’s total sales.
It’s clear that Apple is considering the China market with its products. It’s a market with a large appetite for luxury products. That may have been one reason behind Apple’s decision to produce an 18-karat gold Edition model.
I expect China will play a huge role in the success of the Apple Watch in 2015. In fact, the China Apple Watch market could be even bigger than the U.S.
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