In this weekis Byte of the Apple column at BusinessWeek, Alex Salkever suggests that Apple think seriously about China for big iPod sales. Mr. Salkever points out that Chinais emerging middle class, coupled with a massive gadget obsession, offers Apple the opportunity to be king of the mountain in music players, but only if the company puts more effort into it. From the column:
Apple, however, is hardly rushing into this potential promised land, although it has shown signs of interest. In May, 2004, it unveiled a deal to preload its popular iTunes music software on every PC made by Founder Technology, Chinais second-largest PC manufacturer. Mac watchers immediately discounted the possibility of an iTunes Music Store launch in China where rampant piracy would likely spook the big labels. Apple declined to comment for this article.
However, many wondered whether the Founder deal presaged a more intensive iPod marketing campaign in the big urban centers of Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. So far Apple hasnit done anything further on this score, but it ought to hurry up. It has a wide-open opportunity to become a big player in what will likely become the worldis largest personal-tech market within the next decade.
There is much more in the full article, including lots of background information and other related issues, and we recommend it as an interesting read.