Apple CEO Apologizes to Chinese Customers - NBC Bay Area

Apple CEO Apologizes to Chinese Customers

Warranty issue make Apple head contrite in soon-to-be biggest market.



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    In this March 28, 2012 photo provided by Apple, Inc., Apple CEO Tim Cook, center, visits the iPhone production line at the newly-built manufacturing facility Foxconn Zhengzhou Technology Park, which employs 120,000 people. A report released Thursday, March 29, by the Washington-based Fair Labor Association says Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the Taiwanese company that runs Apple's factories in mainland China, has committed to reducing weekly work time to the legal Chinese maximum of 49 hours. (AP Photo/Apple)

    The market is one thing. The government is another. But when Chinese customers as well as the government of China are calling you out?

    That's when you respond, as Apple CEO Tim Cook did on Monday.

    Cook formally apologized to Apple customers in China -- which will someday soon be the biggest market for Apple products as well as the country in which they are built -- for what appeared to be warranty policies that "did not care" about Chinese consumers, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

    The leadership of the People's Republic of China have gone as far as to officially chastise Apple for "not adequately responding to warranty complaints" broadcast on state-run television, the newspaper reported. The government news broadcasts suggested that Apple does not treat its Chinese customers as equals to, say, iPhone users in Europe or the United States.

    Cook apologized for any such cavalier appearances towards China, and also promised to shore up warranty information and repair policies for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the newspaper reported.

    Apple stock has lost nearly 40 percent of its value since September, when the iPhone 5 was released -- but when also Cook was forced to apologize for replacing iPhones' Google maps with an Apple product deemed "inferior," the newspaper reported.

    Apple stock is down from $705.07 per share at its peak to $435.03 on Monday -- and China is a key part of making sure investors' coffers don't shrink further. Apple saw a 67 percent growth in sales in China in 2012.