GADGET DESIGNER Apple's CEO Tim Cook has apologised to the people of China over the way that his company provides and honours warranties.
This is not the first time that Cook has apologised, and it might not be the last. Before he was on his knees over Apple's Maps app. Now he is responding to criticisms from the glorious Chinese People's Daily newspaper, the broadcaster China Central Television, and just about anyone else that has an oar to put in.
According to a report at the New York Times, complaints have ramped up since China's Consumer Rights Day earlier this month. Then Apple was criticised regarding its warranties and the fact that they last for only a year.
Chinese media and government have added to the criticisms in the intervening time. China's State Administration of Industry and Commerce has called for "strengthened supervision" of what Apple does, and national TV stations have had harsh words for the firm.
"In the past two weeks, we have received a lot of feedback about Apple in China repair and warranty policy," said Tim Cook in an open letter on Apple's Chinese pages (we have translated it). Cook said that miscommunication played a role in the controversy.
"We are aware that, due to the lack of external communication in this process and lead to the speculation that Apple arrogance, do not care or do not attach importance to consumer feedback. We express our sincere apologies for any concerns or misunderstandings this gives consumers."
Chinese tabloid the Global Times, said that the olive branch is good news and will benefit both Apple and its consumers alike. "Apology from Apple benefits all sides," was its headline.
"After China Central Television accused Apple of offering discriminatory after-sales services in China, the company responded indifferently to consumers' complaints," it reported. "The company's apology letter has eased the situation, softening the tense relationship between Apple and the Chinese market." µ