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Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner makes shock go to to China as iPhone 15 will get off to a difficult begin

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Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner holds up a brand new iPhone 15 Professional throughout an Apple occasion on Sept. 12, 2023, in Cupertino, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Photos Information | Getty Photos

Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner cheered on avid gamers at an occasion throughout a shock go to to China, underscoring the market’s significance to the iPhone big at a time when it faces mounting challenges.

Players gathered at an Apple retailer in Chengdu in southwestern China to play “Honor of Kings,” a sport developed by TiMi Studio, which is owned by Chinese language tech big Tencent.

“The action-packed Honor of Kings began right here in Chengdu and is now a worldwide phenomenon on the App Retailer,” Cook dinner mentioned in a put up on Chinese language social media service Weibo.

Cook dinner additionally posted a video of himself cheering on avid gamers on the match. Honor of Kings is among the largest cellular video games in China and a considerable income driver for Apple’s App Retailer within the nation.

The Apple CEO’s go to to the corporate’s third-largest market comes slightly below a month after the iPhone 15, the corporate’s flagship smartphone, went on sale to a seemingly lukewarm reception, and as a overwhelmed down Huawei makes an attempt to make a comeback within the cellular market.

“It is a powerful begin for Apple to make certain and it is a mixture of things driving this,” Ethan Qi, affiliate director at Counterpoint Analysis, advised CNBC by way of electronic mail.

Qi attributed Apple’s challenges to poor shopper sentiment, the iPhone 15’s poorer efficiency than the iPhone 14 and rising competitors within the high-end smartphone market.

“All of this stuff are working collectively to take a few of the shine away from Apple’s lustre in the course of the first few weeks of iPhone 15 gross sales,” Qi mentioned.

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