Apple Popular With 21% Of Chinese Consumers — If Only They Could Afford The Brand

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Photo by triplefivechina - http://flic.kr/p/9B6Fba
Photo by triplefivechina - http://flic.kr/p/9B6Fba

Apple is in the cat bird seat when it comes to dominating personal computer sales in China. A new survey by Morgan Stanley finds more than 20 percent of Chinese consumers looking to buy a computer want a Mac. There’s just one hitch: few of China’s citizens are willing to pay more than $1,000.

A couple of interesting data points are out today: first, China has overtaken the U.S. as the world’s largest buyer of personal computers. Second, Apple is preferred by 21 percent of Chinese consumers looking to buy a computer.

Indeed, the Apple brand popularity is rising while the China-based Lenovo is falling. Currently, 5 percent of Chinese consumer own an Apple personal computer — but 21 percent want to buy one. On the flip side, 31 percent of the nation’s consumers own a Lenovo PC, but just 23 percent plan to buy one again.

The one problem for Apple is that just 7 percent of the 1,553 consumers Morgan Stanley surveyed want to pay more than $1,000 for an Apple computer. But there could be some wiggle room. Half of Chinese consumers planning to buy a computer in the next two years expect to pay 6 percent higher than the current average of $600 for a PC.

We can already see Apple’s shifted emphasis away from America’s struggling economy. The Cupertino, Calif. company recently said 75 percent of its new retail stores would be built outside the United States. Apple’s best-performing retail locations are in China.

Just how much does Apple want Chinese consumers to gain wealth and buy their products? You can hear it in CEO Tim Cook’s words: “In my lifetime I’ve never seen a country with as many people rising into the middle class aspiring to buy products that Apple makes,” he said in early October.

Now its No. 2 customer, one wonders how quickly China will become Apple’s chief base of revenue?