China’s top app rewards citizens for reading up on President Xi Jinping

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Xi Jingping 1
Xi Jinping, pictured in 2016.
Photo: Narendra Modi/Wikipedia CC

Can you imagine if the most popular app in the U.S. — more than Facebook, YouTube or WhatsApp — was an official White House app?

The idea sounds, frankly, crazy. But that’s more or less what’s happened in China, where the app currently ruling the App Store is one dedicated to President Xi Jinping.

Tim Cook talks cutting iPhone prices in China

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iPHones in China
Cook opened up about Apple's iPhone pricing in China in a new interview.
Photo: Tim Cook/Weibo

Apple has cut iPhone prices in China to try and win back growth after falling demand for its smartphones. However, from the sound of things, the company isn’t totally sure this is going to be the guaranteed magic bullet it needs to turn things around.

In a new interview with NPR, Tim Cook strikes a note of caution when he says that, “We’ll see how that works out for us.”

iPhone sales suffered more than most in China last quarter

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Long-term iPhone XR demand could eventually lead to greater sales than the iPhone XS.
Cook wasn’t kidding when he blamed China for falling iPhone sales.
Photo: Apple

Apple blamed falling smartphone sales in China for its weaker than anticipated holiday earnings last year, and now new data indicates that the iPhone suffered more than most in the East.

In fact, sales of Apple handsets fell twice as fast as the rest of the smartphone market as a whole.

Leading political scientist thinks Apple’s headed for trouble in China

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iPHones in China
Tim Cook has said that China is Apple's future. That could pose some problems.
Photo: Tim Cook/Weibo

Apple has increasingly focused on China as its future biggest market, but its future in the country may not be quite as rosy as once predicted.

Speaking at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit, political scientist Ian Bremmer suggested that Apple won’t have much of a business in China “within five to 10 years max.” And it’s not Apple’s fault.

Qualcomm wants Apple to pay dearly for selling iPhones in Germany

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jet black iphone 7 plus
Apple stores are banned from selling the iPhone 7 in Germany.
Photo: Apple

Qualcomm is revving up its legal battle with Apple. In a new court filing in Munich, Qualcomm demanded “significant fines” be put on the iPhone-maker for not complying with a previous court order.

Apple was barred from selling some iPhones in Germany at the end of 2018. The company pulled the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 at its retail stores, but Qualcomm is crying foul that other third-party shops still had units in stock.

Foxconn says it can’t afford to make TV screens in Wisconsin

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Foxconn signing
Foxconn and University Wisconsin officials signing a deal for a research center.
Photo: Bryce Richter/University of Wisconsin-Madison

Foxconn, which promised to create 13,000 jobs with a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin, won’t be producing state-of-the-art TV screens here as planned.

The news may not come as a big surprise to critics of the deal, which gave the iPhone maker the richest subsidy package in the state’s history. Foxconn has already forfeited some of those tax credits after it missed 2018 hiring goals.

Live blog: Witness Apple’s high-stakes earnings call

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money
This earnings repot could be Apple's worst in years.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Investors are eagerly waiting to see all the numbers from Apple’s 2018 holiday quarter during today’s earnings call. Based on early reports, some of the numbers might come in even lower than expected.

Gulp.

Apple already warned investors that iPhones sales during Q1 2019 came in lower than expected, mostly thanks to problems in Greater China. Even after lowering revenue guidance, the company still could pull out a few surprises. However, most analysts remain worried that the iPhone sales slump will continue into 2020.

Apple CEO Tim Cook and CFO Luca Maestri are set to get on the phone with investors at 2 p.m. Pacific today. Per usual, Cult of Mac will be here live-blogging all the action with up-to-the-minute analysis on all the important numbers.

Come join the fun:

High prices are killing iPhone in China

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Chinese iPhone shoppers have gone from thrilled to shocked at prices, leaving Apple crying.
Chinese iPhone shoppers have gone from thrilled to shocked at prices, leaving Apple crying.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The Chinese phone market cratered in the final quarter of 2018, but iPhone sales in the country did even worse.

This poor showing is primarily a result of the high prices Apple charges for its handsets, according to an industry analyst.

Apple buys 50 business class seats to Shanghai every day

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United Airlines
A United Airlines flight attendant uses an iPhone.
Photo: United Airlines

Apple shells out a total of $35 million every year to buy 50 business class airline seats from San Francisco to Shanghai.

The numbers were shared by United Airlines, which revealed that Apple is the airline’s biggest customer at San Francisco International Airport. While Apple’s products are, famously, “designed by Apple in California,” the majority of its supply chain is based in China. Tim Cook has also talked about the importance of China as Apple’s second-biggest market.