Earlier today news broke that Apple CEO Tim Cook had apologized to Chinese consumers.
We now have a better translation of Cook’s apology.
“In the past two weeks, we have received a significant amount of feedback about our repair and warranty practices in China,” said Cook. “In the process of studying the issues, we recognise that some people may have viewed our lack of communication as arrogant, or as a sign that we didn’t care about or value their feedback. We sincerely apologise to our customers for any concern or confusion we may have caused.”
China’s state-run media had been writing about Apple’s warranty policies for the last two weeks.
To improve Apple’s warranty practices, Cook says Apple will add clearer explanations on its website. It will better monitor its resellers in China. It will also make it easy to get in touch with Apple if there are problems.
And, there’s one big change in its approach to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. Cook says Apple will replace iPhone 4s or iPhone 4Ss that have broken parts with entirely new replacement phones. Those new replacement phones get a new one-year warranty.
Previously, if Apple couldn’t quickly repair a single broken part, like a camera lens, it would just replace the entire back piece to a phone. In that case, while the phone was virtually brand new, it wasn’t actually brand new, so it didn’t get a new one-year warranty.
Cook added in his apology note that, “We recognise that we have much to learn about operating and communicating in China, but we want to assure everyone that we bring the same deep commitment and passion to China as we do to any other part of the world. This commitment, a desire to delight all of our customers and provide them with an extremely high-quality experience, is deeply rooted in the culture of our company. And we will not rest until we achieve this goal.”
China is an important market for Apple. Cook sees it as Apple’s biggest market eventually. It will be interesting to see what happens next. Will China’s media be happy with this change? Or will it find a new issue with which to attack Apple?