China's economy isn't the problem, says Trump's Commerce Secretary about Apple

China's economy isn't the problem, says Trump's Commerce Secretary about Apple

Last week, Tim Cook partly blamed Apple's weak iPhone sales on the growing tensions between the US and China. But speaking with CNBC today, President Trump’s Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross, has claimed that this isn’t the case.

While Ross did admit that the ongoing trade talks between the two countries have undeniably affected China’s economy negatively, he appears to believe Apple hasn't been hit that hard by the situation.

Back in November, President Trump threatened to impose either a 10% or 25% tariff on mobile phone imports from China, Apple’s iPhone included. But as the Secretary of Commerce pointed out, this is yet to happen. In fact, no tariffs have been put on any of Apple’s products so far.

Ross didn’t directly confirm his personal thoughts on the matter, but he did seem to suggest Apple’s weak performance is down to other factors. One of these could be the company’s pricing strategy. After all, over the past couple of years, the Cupertino giant has significantly raised prices.

In developed markets such as the US and Europe, this new pricing strategy hasn’t affected sales drastically. But in countries such as China and India, justifying the price of an iPhone is much harder when equally as good Android devices are available to purchase at lower prices.


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14 Comments

1. paceman

Posts: 38; Member since: May 23, 2013

Yes the prices is ridiculous on Apple, Samsung, HTC, Huawei.

2. sissy246

Posts: 7065; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Have to agree with that. There is not a phone out that isn't over priced, all the way from flagships to low range phones.

11. Cat97

Posts: 1855; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

The Galaxy S9 at the current under-500 eur price is not overpriced. Neither is the OnePlus 6.

5. htcisthebest

Posts: 435; Member since: Nov 15, 2011

No. It's only ridiculous on Apple.

3. bucky

Posts: 3775; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

China's economy is not the problem. Apple (amongst others) pricing have finally reached the max people are willing to pay. They have been trying very hard to stretch people and get away with it.

10. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 290; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Yep, here in my country the iPhone XR's srp even has a higher price than the Mate 20 Pro.

4. Vokilam

Posts: 1181; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

Yeah the biggest problem with Apple is 99% Tim Cook. That guy took a very unique company and turned into a “me-too” Chinese brand. iPhone 5S was the last great Apple device. (Wrote from my iPhone X).

6. tedkord

Posts: 17296; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

I disagree. The 5s was the last great looking iPhone, but the following devices definitely took it further as far as functionality. Tim Cook stopped the practice of stifling competition through lawsuits, and focused Apple more on R&D. The iPhone had been better each successive generation.

7. ph00ny

Posts: 2024; Member since: May 26, 2011

What R&D?

9. UnlimitedSkye03

Posts: 290; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Copying android tech/feature and renaming it and claim it as a new iphone feature.

12. tedkord

Posts: 17296; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Off the top of my head, the 3d camera face mapping. Their in house cpu design. Claiming Apple does no R&D is a ignorant as claiming everyone copies from Apple.

8. L0n3n1nja

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jul 12, 2016

The entire Trump administration is a joke. They are right, there is no tariff, but if there was it would hurt sales in America not China. It is the American that would pay more for the iPhone, not the Chinese. Apple is part to blame with their ridiculously high prices, an iPhone is not worth hundreds more than the competition simply because it has iOS. It certainly doesn't help when Chinese firms are retaliating against America by encouraging their employees to purchase Chinese handsets and in some cases even punishing those who buy an iPhone. Just as Americans are getting a don't buy Chinese products mentality, the Chinese are getting a don't buy American mentality.

14. Galaxy_Apple

Posts: 129; Member since: May 24, 2015

you do realize we have a 500B trade defecit with china , If you were in charge wat would you do ? ignore china allow them to prevent our companies from entering the market without crazy rules n regulations , stealing stuff n selling it for half price ? wat would you do? curious. paying 10% more for a already expensive product isnt really a big deal , infact Apple should reduce their margins n absorp some cost if tariffs r imposed. maybe have a plan b make iPhones in other countries as well maybe korea ,who knows they could have innovated in manufacturing if they tried like TSMC Samsung etc.... but they didnt do anything , it's not the governments fault it's Apple's own fault for being dependant on China n selling all their stuff in USA.

13. D34ever

Posts: 223; Member since: Jul 14, 2018

Apple's problem is its own greed. Every product it sells is way overpriced.

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