Apple CEO Tim Cook makes surprise visit to China as iPhone 15 gets off to a challenging start

Apple CEO Tim Cook holds up a new iPhone 15 Pro throughout an Apple occasion on Sept. 12, 2023, in Cupertino, California.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook cheered on avid gamers at an occasion throughout a surprise visit to China, underscoring the market’s significance to the iPhone big at a time when it faces mounting challenges.

Gamers gathered at an Apple retailer in Chengdu in southwestern China to play “Honor of Kings,” a recreation developed by TiMi Studio, which is owned by Chinese tech big Tencent.

“The action-packed Honor of Kings began right here in Chengdu and is now a international phenomenon on the App Store,” Cook stated in a put up on Chinese social media service (*15*).

Cook additionally posted a video of himself cheering on avid gamers on the event. Honor of Kings is without doubt one of the greatest cell video games in China and a substantial income driver for Apple’s App Store within the nation.

The Apple CEO’s visit to the corporate’s third-largest market comes just below a month after the iPhone 15, the corporate’s flagship smartphone, went on sale to a seemingly lukewarm reception, and as a crushed down Huawei makes an attempt to make a comeback within the cell market.

“It’s a robust start for Apple to ensure and it is a mixture of things driving this,” Ethan Qi, affiliate director at Counterpoint Research, advised CNBC through electronic mail.

Qi attributed Apple’s challenges to poor shopper sentiment, the iPhone 15’s poorer efficiency than the iPhone 14 and growing competitors within the high-end smartphone market.

“All of these items are working collectively to take among the shine away from Apple’s lustre throughout the first few weeks of iPhone 15 gross sales,” Qi stated.

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