Apple Inc (O:AAPL) will launch an expected “iPhone 8” on Tuesday, hoping the number’s auspicious connotations in China will help turn around fortunes in the world’s biggest smartphone market after six quarters of falling sales.
Chinese shoppers, however, are already counting the cost, with the latest model tipped to have a price tag upward of $1,000 – roughly double the average Chinese monthly salary.
The success of Apple’s next iPhone in China is crucial for the Cupertino-based firm, which has seen its once-coveted phone slip into fifth position in China behind offerings from local rivals Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL], Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi Inc (XTC.UL).
Greater China, which for Apple includes Taiwan and Hong Kong, accounted for roughly 18 percent of iPhone sales in the quarter ended in July, making it the company’s top market after the United States and Europe. Yet those sales have been declining steadily and are down 10 percent from a year earlier, in contrast with growth in all other regions.
By Cate Cadell
German aviation investor Hans Rudolf Woehrl late on Sunday said a company controlled by his INTRO Group had submitted a 500 million euro (455.27 million pounds) offer to buy insolvent Air Berlin (DE:AB1).
Air Berlin, Germany’s second-largest airline, filed for bankruptcy protection in August, spurring interest from several buyers seeking to snap up about 140 leased aircraft and valuable take-off and landing slots in Germany.
Woehrl, who bought German airline Deutsche BA from British Airways for a nominal 1 euro in 2003, said Air Berlin’s insolvency administrator had been shown a letter of credit for 50 million euros, to guarantee an initial payment for his bid.
The full offer was for 500 million euros, INTRO Verwaltungs GmbH said.
“It is a bid for the whole of Air Berlin,” Woehrl’s INTRO-Verwaltungs GmbH said in a statement on Sunday, adding that it planned to pay a further 450 million euros in instalments.
The euro briefly dipped below the $1.20 level on Monday after European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure warned that a persistent exchange rate shock could drag down inflation in the euro area.
EUR/USD hit a low of 1.1993 before pulling back to 1.2017 by 04:05 AM ET (08:05 GMT).
Coeure said improved euro zone growth can offset some of the negative effects of the euro’s strength, but added that a persistent exchange rate shock could drag down inflation.
“Exogenous shocks to the exchange rate, if persistent, can lead to an unwarranted tightening of financial conditions with undesirable consequences for the inflation outlook,” he said.
The euro hit a high of 1.2092 against the dollar on Friday, the most since January 2015. Expectations that the ECB will soon announce plans to taper its bond-buying stimulus program have driven the euro up around 14% against the dollar so far this year.
Daimler’s Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche on Monday said Mercedes-Benz will offer electric versions of all its models by 2022, converting its Smart city car brand to become fully electric.
Speaking at the company’s investor day in Sindelfingen, Germany, Daimler said it will offer at least 50 electrified versions of Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in a hybrid and fully electric car variants.
Because electric cars have a lower margin than electric cars, Daimler has set itself a more ambitious savings target. The company’s Fit for Leadership 4.0 plan targets savings of 4 billion euros (3.6 billion pounds), Daimler said.