Apple CEO Tim Cook has announced warranty changes in China, following a large amount of public backlash in the country.
Last week state-controlled media outlets, including China Central Television, criticised Apple for replacing iPhones in China with repaired phones or recycled components, rather than giving customers new devices as in the United States. Additionally, it claimed Apple wasn't providing enough attention for China-based journalists.
On Saturday Apple initially followed up with a note on its website saying "warranty policies are 'more or less the same' in every country." However, Tim Cook has now back-tracked in a way, with warranty changes.
Cook said Apple was aware that "lack of external communication" had led to speculation that Apple was arrogant, did not care or did not attach importance to consumer feedback. "We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers, " he said.
In China, Apple will now improve its iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy, be concise and clear on its website of the official Apple repair and warranty policy statement, increase the intensity of the supervision and training of Apple authorised service providers, and open up a form on its website by which customers in China can easily contact Apple Feedback Service.
The iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S repair policy will offer new replacement devices for China customers who are under Apple’s one-year warranty in cases where it previously only replaced parts.
China has proved to be a huge emerging market for Apple, so its attention to customers in the country is crucial. In the past Cook has noted that growth in China is exceeding growth in the US and that China has seen record-breaking sales numbers as customers in the country get excited for new devices. Apple is rumoured to be releasing a budget iPhone for emerging markets that could potentially be huge in China.