I was certain that Apple had tailored its gold iPhone to me, but it turns out that the company is really thinking about its Chinese customers when tweaking product designs.
Apple CEO Tim Cook told the Chinese-language Bloomberg BusinessWeek that Apple added a gold option to its iPhone lineup because the color is popular in China.
But Apple is going beyond gold to appeal to Chinese buyers. The company is also investing in the country’s education. Cook told the publication that Apple is supporting more than 180 trial programs to teach smartphone technology to Chinese children.
Why this matters: The region is now Apple’s second-largest market after the U.S. The company saw 70 percent year-over-year growth in iPhone revenue alone, which we attribute to the larger displays on the new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (but perhaps that gold gloss had a little something to do with it). Apple has made it very clear that China is hugely important to the company’s future, so design details like product color palette go a long way toward appealing to aesthetic tastes in the region.
Apple is also selling the Apple Watch in China, though it’s unclear how popular the device has become overseas. But Cook told the Chinese-language Bloomberg BusinessWeek that developers are very interested in building apps for the watch, with more than 3,500 in development. Compared to the first wave of iPhone and iPad apps, which clocked in at 500 and 1,000, respectively, the watch is off to a great start.