Apple is heavily influential, but it’s also influenced heavily by its global markets.
It wouldn’t be surprising then to hear Apple admit that it greatly considers Chinese taste when developing its products, taking into consideration, for example, China’s color palette preferences.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Chinese-language version of Bloomberg Businessweek in the June 17 edition that it continues to make special editions of the iPhone and iPad in gold because Chinese consumers buy so much of them that they sell out quickly.
Apple is so bent on pleasing its Chinese consumers because the greater Chinese market, which includes Hong Kong and Taiwan, is Apple’s second-largest market after the United States. Moreover, according to Bloomberg’s data, greater China accounted for 29% of Apple’s sales in the March quarter alone this year.
Why do the Chinese love gold? Well, it’s the color of luxury, especially to China’s ever-growing population of nouveau rich.
In 2013, Apple started releasing its products in gold-colored hues, which was aluminum anodized to appear gold. They manufactured faux-gold iPhones and iPad Airs, among others, that sold extremely well in China. After Apple made a real 18-karat gold Apple Watch available for presale to Chinese customers earlier this year, it immediately sold out.