What Can We Make Of Apple’s Apology?
2013년 04월 11일

I read somewhere that it was gratifying for Koreans to watch Tim Cook (the Head of Apple Inc.) 'beg' for China's forgiveness. Well, I guess that can be true to a certain extent, although I personally don't agree with this. I also read somewhere that 'apparently being the CEO of the best company in the world means to always say that you're sorry.' So, obviously, there's a lot of emotions involved.

It is true that it is a rare spectacle to see for Koreans - the country has pounded Apple for warranty policies many years ago and the terms did not go own well (no surprises here).

Consumers are used to 'getting their way' with services. Now, this is not to say these are always bad, but it does lead to some tension.

The Korean law demands that a brand new phone (rather than a refurbished unit) must be given to consumers who experienced glitches within 10 days of their purchase. This was the result of a fierce battle between Apple and the Koreans (both the government and its people).

China called for similar improvements in warranty services, but the facts of the case is obviously different.

What can Koreans learn from this predicament? Well, one thing for sure is that regardless of what Apple says about global policy consistencies, the opposite may be the case. It is puzzling that Cook made the abrupt about-face after spending days denying discrimination in China and criticizing the Chinese media and government.

Let's pause here for a second. Let's compare Apple revenues in China and in Korea.

Apple sells perhaps 1 million units a year in Korea. This pales in comparison to how Apple is doing in the neighboring country, China. Revenues raked from China reached $20 billion USD and sales increased by 67% in the first quarter of this year.

Another issue that comes to mind is the politicization.

Any government wanting the attention from the US will 'have a go' at Apple. To an extent, this was the case between Samsung and Apple’s legal battle over patent infringement. I think that rivalry and intentions to protect national interests did play a role in the ongoing strife, although views on this may differ. Now, it's China.

Restrictions were slapped on Huawei and ZTE from doing business in the US - apparently some members of US congress imposed this. Many in this industry opine that it's high time for governments. Perhaps they need to stop twisting corporate arms to get their political message across, although that might be reading it a bit far. I think the real victims here are the consumers who need better guidance at times. What do you think?

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