近期对于苹果公司来说在中国的发展是非常不顺利的。在今年的上半年苹果手机被指出为中国消费者提供的后期保修服务出现问题，随之而来中国的一些官方媒体也进行了大量的报道。最后的处理结果就是苹果以一封道歉信以了结了此事。做为世界上最大的奢侈品与智能手机市场，中国本应成为促使苹果iPhone在全球手机领域取得领先地位的强大助推力。然而苹果手机的市场份额并不强势，只有8%左右，三星手机的市场份额则正好超过20%。如今苹果公司正在发生转变。到目前为止，苹果手机在中国的发展并不顺利，主要原因就在于它不支持中国移动（中国最大的移动运营商）提供的信号较差的3G网络。不过，最近出现了一种更加先进的新型网络，可能会一改现状。12月4日，中国政府批准国内三大无线电信运营商采用下一代网络技术，即4G技术。就是同一天有媒体消息指出，中国移动将在本月底的时候全面开展苹果4G手机服务。中国移动不仅是中国国有企业巨头，同时也是世界最大的移动手机运营商，客户数量高达7亿多人。投资银行RBC表示，4G iPhone的销售可以给苹果带来90亿到100亿美元的收入。而巴克莱银行的阿南德•拉马钱德兰(Anand Ramachandran)则持更加保守的态度。他想看看苹果是否会被迫接受中国移动的要求，共同分担为iPhone手机提供的补贴成本。THINGS have not gone well for Apple in China of late. Earlier this year official news media orchestrated a series of attacks on the firm, following allegations that it had offered Chinese customers unsatisfactory guarantees for its products. Apple ended up issuing a humiliating apology. The Middle Kingdom is the world’s biggest market for both luxury goods and for smartphones. That should have propelled Apple’s iPhones to the top of the heap. But the firm’s market share languishes at around 8% of all handset sales, whereas Samsung commands just over a fifth of them.Apple’s fortunes are improving. The main reason the company’s iPhones have fared poorly in China so far is that they are not offered on the inferior 3G network run by China Mobile, the country’s largest mobile operator. But the arrival of a new, whizzier network could change that. On December 4th the Chinese government authorised the country’s three main wireless-telecoms operators to go ahead with the next generation of network technology, known as 4G.The same day it emerged that later this month China Mobile—a state-owned giant that is also the world’s largest mobile-phone operator, with more than 700m customers—will unveil a 4G iPhone for the Chinese market. RBC, an investment bank, suggests that sales of such a device could be worth $9 billion to $10 billion to Apple. Anand Ramachandran of Barclays, another bank, is more cautious. He wants to see whether Apple is forced to yield to demands by China Mobile that it split the cost of its handset subsidies with customers.Investors are also wondering whether Apple will give in to pressure to return more of its giant cash mountain to shareholders through such things as share buy-backs. Carl Icahn, a veteran shareholder activist, had been pressing the tech giant to hand back $150 billion immediately. But this week Mr Icahn reduced his demand to $50 billion, which is still an eye-wateringly large amount of money. Ironically, greater success in China could lead to more friction if it puts even more cash in Apple’s already overflowing coffers.