Jia Yueting, The CEO of Chinese conglomerate LeEco, has believes that Apple’s sales are slowing as a result of “extremely slow” innovation (via CNBC).
CNBC describes LeEco as the “Netflix of China,” but with so many fingers in so many pies, the company is more like Amazon, only even more diverse. The 43-year-old entrepreneur began his career as a tech support worker before building his own IT and mobile company, estimated to be worth around $4.8 billion. The Chinese media company is also a strategic partner with US-based electric vehicle company Faraday Future (FF).
Jia spoke at a meeting of the China Entrepreneur Club, an exclusive summit of business leaders, where he explained why competition in the Chinese market from the likes of Apple did not worry him.
“We think the difference between us and Apple is very large. Apple is a mobile phone company focused on hardware and software,” Jia said. “LeShi [another name for LeEco] is focused on the internet first, and only then on software, and finally on hardware.”
Jia then boldly claimed that Apple’s product design is obsolete. The Cupertino company has only “individual apps,” Jia said, which was a good business model years ago, but not anymore. “Having separate apps just means great obstacles in the user experience.”
LeEco’s aim is to break down those obstacles, Jia added. The company believes the future of mobile is a more open ecosystem, not a walled garden — as Apple’s is often described — which apparently hinders innovation in the industry.
Apple only has individual apps. This was the right choice during the first generation of mobile net, when CPUs and the mobile network speeds were not fast enough. However now we’re moving into the next era of mobile internet, these problems no longer exist. Moreover, having separate apps just means great obstacles in the user experience. We hope to break down these obstacles.
One of the most important reasons [for slowing sales] is that Apple’s innovation has become extremely slow. For example, a month ago Apple launched the iPhone SE. From an industry insider’s perspective, this is a product with a very low level of technology. We think this is something they just shouldn’t have done.
As an industry leader, Apple should be developing more cutting-edge products. The iPhone was still a leader five years ago after being launched in 2008 but now the concept has fallen behind.
We believe the next generation of mobile internet will be more open, more ecosystem oriented instead of being a closed loop. Ironically, Apple’s over-dominance, lack of internet-thinking and the closed off nature of its systems, all hindered innovation in the internet mobile industry.
Time will tell whether LeEco’s approach can be more successful than Apple’s going forward, but right now, even with those falling sales, my money is still on Cupertino.