Is Apple’s China Hiring Foreshadowing Bigger Plans?

China

After reporting a market share in China that got nearly halved, it appears Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is about to substantially step up its game in one the world’s most crucial markets and second largest economy. According to The Wall Street Journal, China is making a concerted effort at hiring in China after job postings such as ‘environmental affairs program manager’ was scouted out on LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD). Positions such as ‘store specialist’ are also being coveted by Apple — a sign that the company is taking its recent weak performance in China very seriously.

This also comes at a time of increasing speculation of whether or not the tech giant is nearing a deal with China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL) to carry the iPhone. China Mobile is the nation’s largest carrier with 63 percent of the market and well over 700 million users. Apple’s market share dipped dramatically from 9 percent to 5 percent, and according to analyst estimates, represents the company’s lowest market share since 2010.

The hiring for these positions makes sense given the trajectory of the company’s strategy, as the cheaper iPhone 5C could be rolling out this fall, a potential game changer in a Chinese market starving for cheaper phones. The need for lower cost phones has been a continued problem for Apple in China where a plethora of companies, notably Samsung (SSNLF.PK), have managed to out compete them. However, with a more lean iPhone possibly lacking the inclusion of the famous Siri, and a potential deal on the horizon with China Mobile, Apple could be making a substantial play into the market there.