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为中国而生:苹果手表的秘密战略

作者:未知 来源:未知 2015-03-30 我要评论( )

This could be Apple’s secret Apple Watch strategy

为中国而生:苹果手表的秘密战略

In Apple CEO Tim Cook’s words, the Apple Watch is “incredibly beautiful.” But some are saying it’s “incredibly unnecessary.”

用苹果公司CEO蒂姆•库克的话说,苹果手表“美得惊人”,但也有人说,苹果手表“没用得惊人”。

Apple followers haven’t been shy in arguing that the upcoming Apple Watch will be a flop. Dismissive reviews of Apple’s first wearable are plentiful (“a thick, ugly clunker,” “a very stupid idea“), while analysts’ fresh estimates of first-year sales have trended on the low side. Investors haven’t been too optimistic either:Apple’s stock fell 2% Tuesday, a day after it unveiled more Apple Watch details.

果粉们纷纷唱衰苹果手表。坊间充斥着大量负面评论(诸如“又厚又丑的破玩意儿”、“非常愚蠢的理念”等等),分析师们认为苹果手表的第一年销量或将非常惨淡。投资者也不是非常乐观:在苹果手表发布会次日,苹果股价应声下跌了2%。

But what few realize is that Apple has a 3.7 million square mile ace up its sleeve: China.

但人们却忽视了一点:苹果还有一个面积达960万平方公里的庞大市场——中国。

It’s no secret that Chinese consumers love their Apple products. Chinese resellers and admirers alike traveled the world and lined up for days to sweep up Apple’s latest iPhone last fall. Some constructed iPhone 6 “undergarments” to bypass customs duties on the way home. One man even used 99 iPhone 6 units to propose to his girlfriend. (She said no.)

中国消费者喜爱苹果产品并不是什么秘密。去年秋天,中国二道贩子和狂热果粉奔袭全世界,排上几天长队只为抢购iPhone 6的场景至今令人记忆犹新。有些水客为了逃避关税,在内衣裤里都塞满了iPhone 6。一名男子甚至用99部iPhone 6向女友求婚(女友拒绝了他。)

Now, with the Apple Watch heading to China on April 24, the country’s Apple fans have already begun generating outlandish headlines. A Guangzhou man was arrested this week for selling drugs in order to finance his Apple Watch, clearly unwilling to settle for one of many cheap knockoff Apple Watches fresh on China’s black market. Those counterfeits are good news for Apple—they’re an indication demand will be high for the real thing. Previous wearables, like Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, had never been popular enough to make it into China’s counterfeit market.

现在,鉴于苹果手表将于4月24日正式登陆中国大陆,中国果粉们已经开始制造各种荒诞不经的头条新闻。本周,一名广州男子因贩毒被捕,而他铤而走险的动机竟然是为了赚钱买苹果手表——显然他看不上近来各地纷纷涌现的“made in 华强北”的山寨货。但对苹果公司来说,山寨的泛滥其实是个好消息,这说明中国市场对正品苹果手表的需求极其旺盛。而此前的可穿戴设备,比如三星的Galaxy Gear,则从未享受过被山寨厂商仿冒的待遇。

Apple, then, is likely counting on its legions of Chinese fans to scoop up Apple Watches to help boost worldwide sales. But China is no back-up plan. In fact, given Apple’s loyal following in China, the Apple Watch could very well have been made for China.

因此,苹果很可能要指望中国果粉大军来给它刷全球销量了。然而中国并不是苹果手表的“备胎”,事实上,由于中国有这么多忠实的果粉,苹果手表很可能就是一款专为中国设计的产品。

The Apple Watch’s biggest advantage in China is deceptively simple: Few Chinese consumers laugh when Apple touts the device as a luxury item.Apple became China’s top luxury brand for 2015, outranking labels like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. More recently, Apple’s status has risen as Chinese consumers of luxury goods prioritize functionality overostentatiousness—a taboo that China’s President Xi Jinping deplored as “unhealthy,” criticizing Chinese elites’ obsession with status symbols like Rolex watches.

苹果手表在中国的优势也很简单:当苹果称该设备是一款奢侈品时,中国消费者听了很少会发笑。2015年,苹果成为中国的头号奢侈品牌,其排名超过了LV和Gucci。近来,随着中国奢侈品消费者从单纯地炫富(连国家主席习近平也谴责中国精英爱买劳力士等奢侈品炫富的心态“不健康”)转变为更注重实用性,苹果在中国奢侈品消费者心目中的地位也再度提升。

Even better for Apple is how much Chinese consumers value brand names in luxury goods. According to Digital Luxury Group’s (DLG) 2014 report, 73% of online searches for luxury watches are about brand names, almost twice the rate of Americans. Apple’s brand recognition could seal the deal for the Apple Watch in China—but it could also hurt sales in the U.S., where Apple is seen as a tech brand rather than a fashion label:

对苹果来说,另一个利好消息是,中国消费者非常重视奢侈品的品牌。瑞士奢侈品研究咨询机构DLG公司2014年发布的报告显示,有73%的中国人在线搜索名贵手表时是按品牌名称搜索的,这个比重几乎是美国人的两倍。单是苹果的品牌认知度,就足以使很多中国人心甘情愿地掏钱——不过品牌问题反过来却会影响苹果手表在美国的销量,因为苹果在美国一般被认为是个科技品牌而不是时尚标签。

All this will help ease sticker shock, too. While Americans will compare the Apple Watch’s $349-$17,000 price tag to the cost of consumer electronics, Chinese consumers are more likely to stack it up against luxury timepieces. The worldwide median price of a luxury watch is about $10,700, according to DLG. That means the Apple Watch Sport (starting $349) and Apple Watch (starting $549) are inexpensive by comparison, while the gold and silver Apple Watch Edition models that start at $10,000 aren’t crazy purchases. China’s luxury timepiece market is also growing rapidly, partially thanks to the rise in Chinese women’s incomes:

所有这些都有利于缓解高昂的售价给人带来的痛感。美国人会把349美元到1.7万美元的价格拿来与其它消费电子产品进行比较,但中国消费者则会把它与其它名贵手表作对比。根据DLG公司的数据,全球奢侈品牌腕表的中间价格是1.07万美元。相比之下,起价349美元的Apple Watch Sport和起价549美元的Apple Watch都不算特别贵,而购买一款包金裹银,起价1万美元的Apple Watch Edition也不算特别疯狂的举动。另外,中国的奢侈品手表市场一直在迅速增长,这一定程度上要归功于近年来中国女性人均收入的上涨。

Apple Watch’s promise in China as a fashionable luxury item is already clear. When former supermodel Christy Turlington Burns appeared during Apple’s U.S. event Monday to explain how she’s using Apple Watch for fitness, critics called it an awkward, even irrelevant product placement — an iconic women’s advocatewearing a watch “skewed to geeky guys.” But when theApple Watch graced the cover of Vogue Chinaalongside China’s most famous model, Liu Wen, hardly anyone batted an eye. As Vogue China’s editor-in-chief described the difference, “We embrace new technology and digital products more easily than perhaps people elsewhere.”

作为一款时尚奢侈品,苹果手表在中国显然拥有非常光明的前景。上周一。当前美国超模克里斯蒂•特灵顿•伯恩斯现身苹果发布会,解释她如何使用苹果手表健身时,很多人称这是一次“尴尬甚至不搭调的代言”——作为一名超模,代言这样一款宅男专用产品,实在违合感太强。而当中国超模刘雯戴着苹果手表登上《Vogue服饰与美容》封面时,几乎没有人任何人站出来挑毛病。该杂志中文版总编这样描述这种差异:“我们比其他地方的人更容易接受新技术和新数码产品。”

Of course, Apple has spent years laying the groundwork in China for a potential hit with the Apple Watch. It sealed a “watershed” deal with state-owned China Mobile in 2013 to ensure China’s largest mobile network supported iPhones, an agreement that was in the making as far back as in 2007 when the first iPhone launched. Apple also recently brought its iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to China, which sport the larger screens Chinese users have long demanded. Apple shipped a record-breaking 74.5 million iPhones worldwide last quarter, and while Apple doesn’t breakdown shipments by country, UBS estimates that China now claims 36% of the iPhone market, surpassing the U.S. for the first time.

当然,苹果多年来一直在中国潜心耕耘,想方设法地为苹果手表铺路。2013年,该公司与中国最大的国有运营商——中国移动达成了一项具有“分水岭”意义的协议,以确保中国最大的移动网络支持iPhone。而早在2007年,也就是第一代iPhone刚刚问世时,双方就开始酝酿这项合作了。最近苹果也将iPhone 6和iPhone 6 plus推向中国市场,这两款产品搭载了中国用户盼望已久的大屏。上个季度,全球iPhone销量达到了创纪录的7450万部,尽管苹果没有披露按国别划分的销售数字,但据UBS公司预测,中国目前占据iPhone市场的36%,首次超过了美国的份额。

And Apple has already linked the Apple Watch to China. The company’s March 9 event kicked off with a video showing the opening of a new flagship Apple Store in China, where the retail locations are set todouble by mid-2016. Later, Apple showed off the Apple Watch’s compatibility with WeChat, a wildly popular messaging app in China. It was a wise move, as Chinese users have expressed worry that Apple Watch’s screen is too small for the app.

此外,苹果已经在有意地建立苹果手表与中国的联系。在3月9日苹果发布会的开场视频中,就出现了中国一家苹果旗舰店开张的画面。到2016年年中,中国苹果零售店的数量将达到目前的两倍。随后,苹果还特意指出这款手表完全可以与微信兼容——这个举动非常明智,因为已经有中国用户表达了苹果手表的屏幕太小,恐怕难以兼容微信的担忧。

So while Apple Watch’s relevance in the West may continue to be questioned, the wearable has a clear place in China. Given how lucrativeChina has been for Apple, whether or not China loves the Apple Watch could be precisely what makes or breaks the device initial reception.

因此,尽管苹果手表在西方的销路或许依然存疑,但它在中国显然有自己的市场。鉴于中国市场一直在为苹果公司贡献巨额利润,中国用户是否喜爱苹果手表将直接决定这款设备上市初期的市场表现。

重点词汇学习:

incredible [in'kredəbl]
adj. 难以置信的,惊人的

upcoming ['ʌp,kʌmiŋ]
adj. 即将来临的

clunker ['klʌŋkə]
n. 年久失修的旧机器

garment ['ɡɑ:mənt]
n. 衣服,服装;外表,外观vt. 给…穿衣服

counterfeit ['kauntəfit]
vt. 伪造,仿造;假装,伪装vi. 仿造;假装n. 赝品;冒牌货;伪造品adj. 假冒的,伪造的;虚伪的

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