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Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) added some muscle to its push for world domination on Monday as it promoted the new Chinese-language features in both OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6, its latest computer and mobile operating systems.
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The intense focus on growing its presence in the world’s biggest market was made evident at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference when, during a keynote presentation kicking off the week-long event, head of Mac Software Enginereing Craig Federighi presented a segment on “Features for China” in OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.
The new features included an improved Chinese Pinyin input method, a new dictionary, and eight Chinese fonts. Safari in OS X Mountain Lion will also add the popular Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) search engine as an option rather than just Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Safari will also support micro-blogging via Sina (NASDAQ:SINA) Weibo and video sharing through Youku (NYSE:YOKU) and Tudou (NASDAQ:TUDO). Ferighi also said that Mountain Lion would allow for easier setup of popular Chinese email services.
Later during the keynote, Scott Forstall, Apple’s president of iOS Software, presented Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, which will be out this fall. The new iOS will come with Siri support for Mandarin and Cantonese. The new language support includes Mandarin tuned for both Taiwan and the Chinese mainland, and Cantonese, for both Hong Kong and the mainland.
Also, Forstall said iOS would bring local search to new markets around the world. Before, local search was only available in the U.S.
The push for China makes good fiscal sense, when considering how quickly the country’s middle class is growing. In April, Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a quarterly earnings call that the company’s revenue in China has been “mind-boggling,” with $7.39 billion in revenue just during the March quarter, driven mostly by iPhone sales, which were up five times that of the year-ago quarter.
Further, the iPhone seems to be creating an “incredible” halo of demand for Macs, which were up more than 60 percent year-over-year during the quarter, said Cook. Understandable, Apple is doing everything it can to grow its presence in China and capitalize on the opportunity.
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