NPR : News

Ni Hao, Siri! Apple Woos Asia, In Two Charts

In June, Apple announced that the iPhone's virtual personal assistant, Siri, had learned Chinese. The smartphone's operating system will feature Chinese search engine Baidu, plus popular video sites like Youku. Today the newest iPad arrives in China.

Apple is wooing Chinese customers for a reason. The Asia & Pacific region, including China, made the company about a third of its sales in its 2011 fiscal year, which ended September 30: $28 billion. Just three years ago, only 14% of the company's sales came from the region. (Sales figures exclude Apple's retail operations, which are reported separately, combining all regions.)

Apple is scheduled to announce its latest financial results today, and investors are likely to be watching the numbers for Asia closely. Sales in that region have already overtaken sales in Europe, and are closing in on sales in North and South America as well.

The rapid growth in sales from the Asia & Pacific region has closely tracked Apple's initiatives in the region, more than doubling every year since 2009. That has dwarfed the growth of Apple's biggest regional market, the Americas.

Apple products remain very much a luxury item in China. An iPad sells for 2988 RMB on Apple's Chinese website, or about $469. That's roughly 43 percent of China's officially reported annual per-capita income for rural residents of 6,977 RMB, or 12 percent of the official 23,979 RMB per-capita income for urban residents.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Opulent And Apolitical: The Art Of The Met's Islamic Galleries

Navina Haidar, an Islamic art curator at the Met, says she isn't interested in ideology: "The only place where we allow ourselves any passion is in the artistic joy ... of something that's beautiful."
NPR

Tired Of The Seoul-Sucking Rat Race, Koreans Flock To Farming

More than 80 percent of people in South Korea live in cities. But in the past few years, there has been a shift. Tens of thousands of South Koreans are relocating to the countryside each year.
WAMU 88.5

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Fight for Voting Rights

Kojo explores the life and legacy of Fannie Lou Hamer, a poor Mississippi sharecropper who became an outspoken voice in the civil rights movement and the fight for voting rights.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys and Gal

Chrysler recalls cars to boost their cybersecurity. Microsoft debuts its new Windows 10 operating system. And navigation tech could bring us robotic lawn mowers. The Computer Guys and Gal explain.

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