Apple Inc. began taking orders from customers in China via its online store, as the maker of the iPhone and iPad tablet computer steps up its efforts to boost sales in the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
Apple’s China online store will offer free shipping and personalized engravings for some products, the Cupertino, California-based company said in a statement today. The online applications store will also start a service in simplified Chinese, the language used in mainland China, it said.
The world’s biggest technology company by market value last month started selling the iPad and the latest version of the iPhone in China, and added two stores in Beijing and Shanghai. Competition in the Chinese consumer electronics market is increasing as China’s Lenovo Group Ltd. and Huawei Technologies Co. offer rival smartphones.
In China, shipments of iPhones trailed those of smartphones running on Nokia Oyj’s Symbian operating system, and handsets equipped with Google Inc.’s Android software in the first half, according to research firm Analysys International.
Lenovo, China’s biggest personal-computer maker, started selling its LePhone handset this year and Huawei, the country’s largest producer of phone equipment, rolled out its Ideos device. Both products run on the Android operating system.
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