Apple recently reported fiscal first-quarter sales of $78.4 billion. Of that amount, $16.2 billion came from China, making it Apple’s third-largest geographical region for sales.
That total from China was nothing to sneeze at. But it was also a 12 percent decline from the year-ago period, which was when China was Apple’s second-biggest revenue location. That’s not the direction Apple wants its Chinese sales to go.
And it doesn’t help the company that Apple is also dealing with questions from the Chinese government about reports that some iPhone 6S phones sold in China are suffering from malfunctions that cause the smartphones to shut down when their batteries reach the 30 percent power level.
Apple officials reportedly met with the Chinese Consumer Association this week to discuss the matter. What makes Apple’s visit to China notable is that the CCA is a “watchdog” group with close ties to the Beijing government. Chinese officials are said to have questioned Apple due to their concerns about security issues with electronics products made by foreign companies, as well as China’s efforts to grow, and promote, its own consumer-electronics companies.
According to a report from Quartz, Apple told the CCA that it doesn’t believe there are any safety issues to be concerned about with the iPhones shutting down, and that the company would replace any phones affected by the technological glitch.
The iPhone 6 battery problem is not limited to China. U.S. iPhone users have also been complaining about the issue. In November, Apple offered to replace certain iPhones’ batteries for free. In December, the company admitted the problem was affecting more devices than it had announced.
Photo: Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces the iPhone 6s during an Apple media event in San Francisco on September 9, 2015. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)