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'China' Articles

China Catches Smugglers Using Drones to Transport $80M Worth of iPhones From Hong Kong to Mainland

A group of criminals in China were caught smuggling 500 million yuan ($79.8 million) worth of refurbished iPhones from Hong Kong to Shenzhen, using drones connected via cables to transport the smartphones. Reported by the Legal Daily (via Reuters), customs officers in Shenzhen caught the group and ceased its illegal actions, arresting 26 total suspects in the process. Photo by Liu Youzhi/Southern Metropolis Daily via Reuters The group was using drones to fly two 660-foot cables between Hong Kong and the mainland as a method of transporting the iPhones. They typically operated after midnight and into the morning hours, and "only needed seconds" to transport small bags that held 10 iPhones or more using the cable-connected drones. In one night, they could reach a quota of as many as 15,000 iPhones transported. According to a news conference held by the customs officers, this marks "the first case found in China that drones were being used in cross-border smuggling crimes." Shenzhen customs was quoted by the Legal Daily as saying it would closely monitor new types of smuggling with high-tech devices and enhance their capability with technical equipment, including drones and high-resolution monitors, to detect smuggling activity. Drone regulations are said to be "an important task" for Chinese officials, with the government publishing a series of strict rules in 2017 after drones were found to be interfering with aircraft flight paths. Civilian drone owners are now required to register any drone "up to a certain weight" using their real names. While using drones

Apple Transfers Chinese Users' iCloud Data to State-Run Servers in China

Today marks the official transfer of Apple's Chinese iCloud services from a hosting location in the United States to servers owned and operated by state-run Chinese company Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) (via CNN). With the move, all Chinese users' iCloud accounts will now be hosted on GCBD's servers, along with the iCloud encryption keys needed to unlock an iCloud account. Apple made the transfer to comply with the latest laws enacted in China regarding regulations on cloud services, requiring foreign firms to store data within the country. At the time of the original announcement, Apple said, "While we advocated against iCloud being subject to these laws, we were ultimately unsuccessful." Still, Apple remains adamant about its users' privacy: "Apple has not created nor were we requested to create any backdoors and Apple will continue to retain control over the encryption keys to iCloud data," the Apple spokesman said. "As with other countries, we will respond to legal requests for data that we have in our possession for individual users, never bulk data," he added. The company decided to obey the new law in China, instead of outright discontinuing iCloud services in the country and causing a "bad user experience and less data security and privacy" for its Chinese customers. Now, starting today, any iCloud accounts on a device with location settings set to China will have their accounts switched to host GCBD, which is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China. Because of the move, the Chinese government will be able use its own legal

Media Watchdog Advises Journalists in China to Avoid Using iCloud Accounts, Citing Privacy Fears

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RWB/RSF) has urged journalists using iCloud in China to migrate away from Apple's cloud service this month, before control of their data is handed over to a Chinese company (via Hong Kong Free Press). Beginning February 28, Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), which is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China. The firm is set to manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year. The operational change was agreed between Apple and the Chinese government, bringing the tech giant into compliance with the country's new cloud computing regulations. Apple says the partnership with GCBD will improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services and products, and has assured iCloud customers that no backdoors had been created into any of its systems. However, press freedom advocates fear that user data will become accessible to the Chinese state as a result of the switch. Earlier this week, RWB/RSF explicitly criticized Apple's "readiness to accommodate China's authoritarian regime". "Apple promises that it will never give governments a backdoor to content, but there is no way of being sure about this," Head of RSF's East Asia bureau Cédric Alviani said. "Knowing the Chinese government's determination and the extent of the means of pressure at its disposal, it will end up getting its way sooner or later, if it hasn't already."Last month, Apple contacted and advised customers in China to examine new terms and

Apple Retail Stores in China to Accept Alipay Mobile Payments

Alipay, the mobile payment system offered by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, will soon be accepted in Apple retail stores across China, making it the first third-party mobile payment system to be accepted at brick-and-mortar Apple stores anywhere in the world (via Reuters). The partnership with Apple was announced in a statement on Wednesday by Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial, which runs Alipay. Apple's regional China website, iTunes Store, and App Store have accepted Alipay for over a year, but Apple has now agreed to accept Alipay payments across all of its 41 local retail stores in the country, where Apple Pay has thus far received a lukewarm reception. Alipay is China's most used mobile payment platform, but Alibaba is looking to keep one step ahead of Tencent Holdings' rival digital payment system, which is integrated into hugely popular chat app WeChat. Reports of discussions about a potential partnership between Apple and Alibaba date back to November 2014, when the idea of integrating Alibaba's Alipay with Apple Pay was first considered as a more comprehensive mobile payments solution for the Chinese market.

Apple Plans Second Data Center for iCloud Services in China

Apple is planning to build a second data center in China, with an operation date set for 2020 and location in Ulanqab City, according to a report today by Xinhua Net (via Reuters). Located in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the second center is said to provide various iCloud services for users on the Chinese mainland. Plans are for the center to run on 100 percent renewable energy sources, similar to other data centers built by Apple. Apple Inc., the United States tech giant, will build a data center in Ulanqab City in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, after its first data center in southwestern Guizhou Province, the local government has announced. The Ulanqab City data center will be Apple's second in China, following an announcement last summer for its first China-based data center located in the southern province of Guizhou. The first center was set up in partnership with data management firm Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry and in accordance with the country's new cybersecurity laws. At the time, Reuters reported that Apple was the first foreign tech firm to announce amendments to its data storage arrangements in China to comply with a new cybersecurity law that was implemented in June, requiring foreign firms to store data within the country. While concerns about surveillance and data security were brought up, Apple assured reporters it had strong privacy and security protections in place, stating that "No backdoors will be created into any of our systems." Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus Was China's Second Best-Selling Smartphone in 2017

Apple's iPhone 7 Plus was the second best-selling smartphone in China last year and outperformed iPhone 7 sales by some margin, according to new market research, suggesting price is not the only concern amongst Chinese consumers. Low-cost smartphones have dominated the Chinese market in recent years, while high-end devices from companies like Apple typically see low sales numbers in the country. But a report from Counterpoint Research reveals Apple's 5.5-inch device reached second place with a 2.8 percent market share overall, while Oppo's similarly sized R9S ended 2017 as the market leader with a 3 percent share. In third and fourth place the Vivo X9 and Oppo A57 took 2.7 percent and 2.6 percent of the market, respectively, while Apple's 4.7-inch iPhone 7 sat in fifth with 2.4 percent, suggesting the smaller form factor display dampened interest amongst consumers. Apple was the only foreign brand in China's 2017 market top 10, according to the research, thanks to the success of its iPhone 7 series. An uptick in sales in the second half of the year was reportedly due to the implementation of price cuts, which increased Apple's competitiveness against lower-cost local brands. For example, an iPhone 7 Plus with 128GB storage received a 16 percent price cut, putting it around the $900 mark. The big winner though was Oppo, whose product and pricing strategies were most in sync with the demands of the Chinese market, enabling it to end the year with three different models in the top 10. In terms of product strategy, Oppo focused on selfie and social media features,

Chinese Consumer Group Demands Answers From Apple Over Older iPhone Slowdowns

Apple's iPhone slowdown controversy extended to China on Tuesday after a Chinese consumer group asked the tech giant for information about iOS updates that reduce the performance of older iPhones (via Reuters). The Shanghai Consumer Council has written to Apple and requested an explanation for the slowdowns and information about what Apple planned to do to rectify the problem. The consumer group, which is a non-government organization approved by the Chinese authorities, demanded a response by Friday, according to state news agency Xinhua. The council explained that its query came in response to consumer feedback that old iPhones became sluggish after upgrading the operating system to iOS 10.2.1. It said it had received 2,615 complaints about Apple products and services in 2017, compared to 964 complaints in 2015. Last month Apple confirmed that it introduced power management features in the update to improve performance and prevent unexpected shutdowns as the battery in the devices starts to degrade. The company faces an increasing number of lawsuits that either accuse the company of intentionally slowing down older iPhones, or of failing to disclose power management changes it made starting in iOS 10.2.1. For more information about the power management system that Apple implemented in the update, check out our frequently asked questions.

International User Accounts Swept Up in Chinese iCloud Data Migration [Updated]

Apple's announcement on Wednesday that its iCloud services in mainland China will be handed over to a Chinese company has already run into controversy, after it emerged that accounts registered overseas are being swept up in the migration. Apple said yesterday that customers based in China had been contacted and advised to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers, which will be transferred from February 28. Customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD had been given the option to terminate their account. However, according to some users who spoke to TechCrunch, in the data to be handled by local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), Apple is including iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars, and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts. STRANGE: my US Apple ID also got the China iCloud Transfer mail... pic.twitter.com/MZvjsbPiYL— 王博源 Wang Boyuan (@thisboyuan) January 11, 2018 When asked for comment, Apple pointed to its terms and conditions site, which explains that it is migrating iCloud accounts based on the settings of the user's device, not where an iCloud account is registered or billed to. The operation of iCloud services associated with Apple IDs that have China in their country or region setting will be subject to this transition. You will be notified of this transition via email and notifications on your devices. You don’t need to take any further action

Apple Announces Relocation of Chinese Customers' iCloud Data From U.S. to Mainland China

Apple today confirmed that its iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month (via People's Daily, China). The firm, called Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China, and will manage Apple's new $1 billion data center, which opened in the region last year. Apple said customers based in the country had been contacted and advised to examine new terms and conditions, which include a clause that both Apple and the Chinese firm will have access to all data stored on iCloud servers. Apple on Wednesday announced its decision to relocate Chinese mainland customers’ iCloud data from the U.S. to China, promising that the relocation will not compromise users' information security pic.twitter.com/AYIvFNnMUF— People's Daily,China (@PDChina) January 10, 2018 Apple originally announced in July its intention to set up its first China data center in partnership with a local internet services company. The operational change was agreed between Apple and the Chinese government, bringing the tech giant into compliance with the country's cloud computing regulations, introduced in June 2017. The cybersecurity law requires foreign firms to store data within the country. Other tech firms with data centers in China include Microsoft and Amazon, which will also need to comply with the new rules. Apple said the partnership with GCBD would also allow it to improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services products, but assured customers that no backdoors had been created into any

Apple CEO Tim Cook Hopes Apps Pulled From China's App Store Will One Day Return

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Wednesday he is optimistic that some apps pulled from China's App Store to comply with regulatory rules will eventually be reinstated (via Reuters). Cook made the comments at the economic Fortune Forum in the southern city of Guangzhou, in the latest stint of his week-long China visit. Apple CEO Tim Cook at World Internet Conference in Wuzhen (Image: Reuters) "My hope over time is that some of the things, the couple of things that's been pulled, come back. I have great hope on that and great optimism on that," Cook said, adding that he always tries to find areas to work together and if he gets criticized for that, so be it.Apple has come in for criticism from local users and rights groups for acceding to government requests that it pull some apps from its Chinese App Store, including VPN services used to gain access to online services banned in China. During the Forum, Cook also said that he believes strongly in freedoms – a comment that has been interpreted as response to a U.S. democratic senator's remarks on Tuesday that Apple had a moral obligation to promote freedom of expression. "[T]ech companies must continue to push back on Chinese suppression of free expression," Vermont senator Patrick Leahy told CNBC. Leahy said he believed Apple was in danger of not fulfilling its "obligation to promote free expression and other basic human rights." In October, senators Leahy and Ted Cruz wrote to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking why the company removed third-party VPN apps from its App Store in China. Apple responded in a letter, explaining

Tim Cook Touts Apple's Contribution to Chinese Economy at State-Run Web Summit

Chinese developers have earned more selling apps on Apple's iOS platform than devs from any other country, Apple CEO Tim Cook said on Sunday (via Bloomberg). His comments were made in a keynote speech given at China's annual state-run World Internet Conference, which aims to develop the digital economy, while operating under the rubric of respecting the right of sovereign nations to regulate and control public internet access. Cook said developers on its iOS platform number 1.8 million in China, collectively earning a total of $16.9 billion, which is roughly a quarter of total global App Store earnings. Apple said earlier this year that the global developer community has earned over $70 billion since the App Store launched in 2008. Tim Cook delivers a speech at the Fourth World Internet Conference (Photo: IC) "The theme of this conference – developing a digital economy for openness and shared benefits – is a vision we at Apple share," Cook said. "We are proud to have worked alongside many of our partners in China to help build a community that will join a common future in cyberspace."China's cyber regulation has stepped up in the last year, with new rules coming into force that require companies to store data locally and make data available for surveillance measures. Apple was the first foreign tech firm to announce amendments to its data storage arrangements in China, when the cybersecurity laws came into effect in June. "Much has been said of the potential downsides of AI, but I don't worry about machines thinking like humans. I worry about people thinking like

Apple CEO Tim Cook to Attend China's World Internet Conference Next Week

Apple CEO Tim Cook will attend China's state-run internet conference next week, reports the Wall Street Journal. The annual World Internet Conference starts on Sunday in Wuzhen and is organized by the central government's Cyberspace Administration. According to the conference's website, other foreign executives and officials set to attend include Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Facebook VP Vaughan Smith, LinkedIn co-founder and VP Allan Blue, and Microsoft executive VP Harry Shum. The event will host a range of discussions including the future of artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and methods of combating criminal activity and terrorism online, all of which feed into the summit's main aim of advancing the digital economy "for openness and shared benefits". What the press material doesn't mention is the Cyberspace Administration's role in online censorship and its history of blocking access within China to unapproved sites and internet services. Skype became the latest victim of its strict internet filters when it was removed from the App Store last month. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to the administration's regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and the New York Times app. During a Q3 earnings call in August, Cook said Apple believes in engaging with governments around the world even when it disagrees with rules or restrictions. Regarding the removal of VPN apps from China's App Store, Cook said that over time Apple hoped to

Apple Has Removed Skype From App Store in China to Comply With Local Law

Microsoft has confirmed that Skype has been "temporarily removed" from the App Store on iPhone and iPad, according to a statement given to The New York Times. Apple told The New York Times that it was forced to remove a number of voice and video calling apps from the App Store in China to comply with laws in the country.We have been notified by the Ministry of Public Security that a number of voice over internet protocol apps do not comply with local law. Therefore these apps have been removed from the app store in China. These apps remain available in all other markets where they do business.Skype has been unavailable on the App Store since at least late October, according to users on Twitter and other websites. The service appears to function normally still for users who have already installed the app. Skype is the latest victim of China's strict internet filters, colloquially known as the Great Firewall. Earlier this year, Apple was forced to remove many VPN apps from the App Store in China due to regulations, while other apps affected in the past or present include WhatsApp, Facebook, Snapchat, and Twitter. Microsoft wouldn't comment on why Skype is also unavailable on at least a few major third-party Android app stores. Many of Google's services, including Gmail and YouTube, have been blocked in China for several years. Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but

Tim Cook Visits China Where iPhone Sales Finally Rebounded Last Quarter After Lengthy Skid

Apple chief Tim Cook was among a group of leaders who met China's President Xi Jinping on Monday at an annual gathering of advisers to the Tsinghua University business school in the capital Beijing, according to Reuters. Apple declined to comment on details of his visit. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who also attended, stated that "every year this trip is a great way to keep up with the pace of innovation and entrepreneurship in China." The meeting occurred just days before Apple launches its much-anticipated iPhone X in 55 countries, including China, with hopes the high-end smartphone can revive the company's sales in the world's second largest economy. Apple shipped an estimated 11 million iPhones in China last quarter, up 40 percent from the year-ago quarter, according to research firm Canalys. The strong growth put an end to six consecutive quarters of declining iPhone sales in the region. Canalys believes Apple's rebound, buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus last month, could be short lived."Apple's growth this quarter is only temporary. The high sell-in caters to the pent-up demand of iPhone upgraders in the absence of the iPhone X. Price cuts on earlier models after announcing the iPhone 8 have also helped. However, Apple is unlikely to sustain this growth in Q4," said Canalys Research Analyst Mo Jia. Despite being touted as widely expensive, excitement for the launch of the iPhone X is building in China. "While the iPhone X launches this week, its pricing structure and supply are inhibiting. The iPhone X will enjoy a healthy

U.S. Senators Ask Apple Why VPN Apps Were Removed From China App Store

Two U.S. senators have written to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking why the company removed third-party VPN apps from its App Store in China (via CNBC). Reports that Apple had pulled the VPN apps first arrived in July, following regulations passed earlier in the year that require such apps to be authorized by the Chinese government. In the open letter dated October 17, Senators Patrick Leahy and Ted Cruz write that China has an "abysmal" human rights record when it comes to freedom of expression and free access to online and offline information, and say they are "concerned that Apple may be enabling the Chinese government's censorship and surveillance of the internet". Senators Ted Cruz (R-Texas, left) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) "While Apple's many contributions to the global exchange of information are admirable, removing VPN apps that allow individuals in China to evade the Great Firewall and access the internet privately does not enable people in China to 'speak up'." "To the contrary, if Apple complies with such demands from the Chinese government it inhibits free expression for users across China, particularly in light of the Cyberspace Administration of China's new regulations targeting online anonymity."The senators go on to note that Cook was awarded the free speech award at Newseum's 2017 Free Expression Awards, where he said: "First we defend, we work to defend these freedoms by enabling people around the world to speak up. And second, we do it by speaking up ourselves." In the bipartisan request, the senators then ask Cook to explain Apple's actions by

Apple Watch Series 3 Facing LTE Setbacks in China, Likely Due to Government 'Security Concerns'

The cellular capabilities of the Apple Watch Series 3 remain unavailable to new carrier plan subscribers in China, after having been "abruptly cut off...without explanation" just one week after the device's launch in September. A new report published today by The Wall Street Journal has looked into the LTE setbacks faced by the Apple Watch in the country, which is predicted to face ongoing issues over the next couple of months. Originally, Apple Watch Series 3 models on launch were supported by the carrier China Unicom, but on September 28 -- almost one week after the September 22 launch -- Unicom cut off new LTE subscriptions for the device. Those who had signed up for a subscription prior to that date remain unaffected, but now anyone trying to sign up for LTE on their Apple Watch are unable to do so. Unicom said on its website that the feature had been available "on a trial basis" and didn't specify when it might resume. But in China, the feature was abruptly cut off for new subscribers, without explanation, after a brief availability with one telecom company. Industry analysts say the suspension likely stemmed from Chinese government security concerns to do with tracking users of the device, which uses different technology than standard mobile phones. On the Apple Watch Series 3 cellular support site, all Chinese carriers -- China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom -- now say "coming later this year." Previously, Unicom specified the following: "Cellular service available only for mobile lines opened in Guangdong, Henan, Hunan, Shanghai, and Tianjin." A

iPhone Movie 'The Great Buddha+' Receives Ten Golden Horse Nominations

Taiwanese movie "The Great Buddha+", a dark comedy shot extensively on an iPhone 6 Plus, has picked up ten nominations in the Golden Horse Awards, including best feature film and best new director (via Variety). Directed by Huang Hsin-yao and produced and lensed by acclaimed photographer Chung Mung-hong, the black-and-white film follows the voyeuristic antics of a pair of small-town Taiwanese nobodies, highlighting Taiwanese social issues in the process. The Golden Horse Awards, which will be announced on November 25 in Taipei, are often considered one of the most prestigious film awards for Mandarin-language cinema, with movies from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong regularly vying for honors. In the running for the best film prize this year are "The Great Buddha+", "The Bold, The Corrupt, and The Beautiful", "Free and Easy", "Love Education", and "Angels Wear White", which played recently in Venice and

Huawei Ad Teases 'The Real AI Phone', Mocks Facial Recognition in Clear Dig at Apple

Chinese mobile maker Huawei has taken to trolling Apple in a new Facebook ad that pokes fun at the iPhone X's neural engine and urges people to wait for "the real AI phone" – a reference to its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Mate 10, set to debut next month. The short ad takes aim at Apple's Face ID feature on the new iPhone X, and uses a jaunty clown emoji animation on a smartphone display to imply that unlocking the device using facial authentication is prone to failure. The tagline accompanying the ad reads, "Let's face it, facial recognition isn't for everyone. Unlock the future with #TheRealAIPhone. 16.10.2017". Apple famously had to defend itself against doubts about Face ID after a live onstage demo of the technology appeared to backfire. As reported previously, Huawei's Mate 10 is the first phone in the company's line-up to feature the Kirin 970 AI mobile chipset, which has a built-in neural processing unit that utilizes machine learning, making it "20 times faster" than a traditional processor, according to the company. The Kirin 970 is based on the same 10-nanometer technology as Apple's latest A11 Bionic processor found in the iPhone 8 and iPhone X. Like the A11, the new Huawei chip is also said to be more energy efficient, especially when it comes to handling AI-related functions such as image and voice recognition. Huawei surpassed Apple’s global smartphone sales for the first time in June and July, according to analysis by consulting firm Counterpoint Research, overtaking the U.S. tech giant as the world's second biggest smartphone brand.

Chinese Firm Didi Now Accepts Apple Pay Across its Ride-Hailing Services

Chinese ride-hailing company Didi has added Apple Pay as a payment option to the full range of its personal mobility services (via TechCrunch). Apple's mobile payment platform can now be used to fund Didi Express, Didi Luxe, Didi Premier, and ofo, a partner bicycle rental service embedded into the main Didi app. Image via Technode Support of the digital wallet adds another Apple feature to the Didi service, with customers already able to use Siri to hail a ride and book one from within the Maps app and on their Apple Watch. In addition to Apple Pay support, the company is also adding an English language service for Didi Luxe to offer luxury limousine services through the ride-hailing platform. Didi Luxe operates in Beijing and is expected to arrive in Shanghai in the next few months. Last year, Apple made a much-publicized $1 billion investment in Didi, earning it a place on the company's board, so the gradual inclusion of Apple services is to be expected. The further support of Apple Pay also comes at a good time for Apple, which is seeking to boost use of the mobile payment platform in China and fend off popular rivals like Alipay and WeChat Pay.

Apple Facing Struggle to Convince Chinese Smartphone Users to Switch Allegiance [Updated]

Apple is facing an uphill struggle in its attempts to wean Chinese smartphone users off cheaper rival devices in a saturated mobile market, according to a new Bloomberg report. With Apple gearing up to sell its most ambitious but most expensive iPhone yet, local competitors like Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi are already poised to compete by launching their own less expensive feature-packed devices around Apple's September 12 "iPhone 8" launch date. Unofficial "iPhone 8" poster spotted in Chinese store (via Slashleaks) While it sticks to a global template that's served it well, local vendors have become adept at technology design while tailoring phones to local tastes, such as with dual SIM capability. In a show of confidence, Huawei Technologies Co., Xiaomi Corp. and likely Vivo -- far from front-running or avoiding the iPhone the way movie studios juggle summer tentpoles -- are tackling the U.S. company head-on by timing new products around the publicity avalanche sure to engulf Apple’s Sept. 12 launch. "The challenge comes from Vivo, Oppo and Huawei, they can replace Apple in high-end markets priced around $500, even as Apple remains dominant in the ultra high-end $600 plus segment," said Kiranjeet Kaur, an analyst with industry consultancy IDC. "We don't expect big growth as China's market is now very saturated. The biggest demand for the new iPhone will come from the replacement market."Part of the problem is that many of the features Apple will debut in its so-called "iPhone 8", such as a full-screen display and wireless charging, are already available in some form