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商务英语听力: iPhone Sales in China

2015-7-21 16:05| 发布者: sisu04| 查看: 1005| 评论: 0|来自: 英文巴士

摘要: Business English Listening: iPhone Sales in China

Apple’s Golden Goose: iPhone Sales in China

 

Skip: This is Skip Montreux in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Samantha: And this is Samantha Vega in Oakland, New Zealand.

 

Skip: And you are listening to Down to Business English.

 

Skip: Welcome back, everyone. Samantha, how are you this week?

 

Samantha: I’m doing pretty good. I’ve noticed I’ve been getting a little bit sick. I got sick just this morning. Not feeling 100%.

 

Skip: Well, you sound fine to me. I, on the other hand, I’m feeling sicker than a dog today.

 

Samantha: What happened?

 

Skip: You know, I’m not quite sure, but I suspect that I caught a very bad cold from a student of mine and I’m a little angry about this. This student, he was one of the fortunate ones who recently purchased the new Apple watch and he came to class last week very excited to show it to everybody. And he was especially excited because he had a cold and he could show us and test out all the health applications on his Apple watch. Even though it was a little interesting, I, I woke up the next morning feeling a little sick.

 

Samantha: Uh, you should have said to him, “Hey, let me borrow your watch.

 

Skip: Ha!

 

Samantha: I need to find out what exactly is wrong with me.”

 

Skip: You know as an Apple fan boy, I’m not that interested in the Apple watch right now.

 

Samantha: Well, in China, they are very, very interested in iPhones at the moment.

 

Skip: Yeah, they’re very popular here too. I picked up an iPhone 6 myself last year.

 

Samantha: Well, that actually ties in with our business story for today.

 

Skip: Oh really, and what is that?

 

Samantha: Well, Apple sales increased over the Chinese New Year this past February. It’s kind of skyrocketed.

 

Skip: Wait, wait. You’re telling me today’s story in an Apple story?

 

Samantha: It is.

 

Skip: Oh, that’s fantastic. Dez never lets me talk about Apple anymore.

 

Samantha: Well, this one is for you then. Let’s get D2B... Down to Business with Apple’s golden goose, iPhone sales in China.

 

Skip: iPhones sales in China. Well, I’m very intrigued. What, what can you tell us about this today, Sam?

 

Samantha: Well, for the first time ever, Apple sales of iPhone in China have been greater than their sales in the US for the first three months of this year, for the first quarter. And the main reason is the bigger screen on the iPhone 6. It’s also the 6 Plus as well. It was just Chinese New Year just this is past February and a lot of the affluent crowd, this past Chinese New Year, have been rushing to the local Apple shop to pick up the latest iPhone 6 or 6 Plus. The main reason is because it’s easy to write Chinese characters. It was a little bit harder before. With the stylus, maybe okay, but with your finger it makes it very difficult when they were smaller screens. So it was the ‘it’ gift for the wealthy during this past Chinese New Year in February.

 

Skip: Really? I know here in, in Tokyo or in Japan the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are very popular, uh, but I don’t see many people writing Japanese on the screen. So that’s very interesting that, uh, that was one of the reasons for pushing the sales for the iPhone 6 in China.

 

Samantha: Yeah. A lot of it was the writing and also they said they said the video capabilities, which I wasn’t sure how they would be different, but I think just the size and it would be much easier to edit video and just basically see the video on your iPhone. This I found every interesting that in China now, many people only have one device and that’s their phone. They don’t have laptops anymore. They don’t have tablets anymore. They just have a phone.

 

Skip: I think that is a trend in Asia. I think quite a few of my students don’t even use the Internet at home. They rely mainly on their device. Is that true in New Zealand?

 

Samantha: Here? No, I don’t think so but we are, we are very behind the times technically (laughter) when it comes to uh, technology but what they also said in China was that a lot of places had sporadic Internet at home. So many people just use devices on the go. So only when they’re out in public places that have Wi-Fi connections, because it seems that they don’t have very good strong Internet. I did, obviously this is not in Beijing, or in Hong Kong, or in the smaller communities, but I thought that was interesting that they didn’t have committed Internet all the time.

 

Skip: Oh, I find that a little surprising that people would not have Internet at home, but that China has the infrastructure to offer Wi-Fi in public places. But I, I, for me, when I’m out and about, I certainly want to use public Wi-Fi rather than being on my cellular network.

 

Samantha: Yes, definitely. What is, if it’s free? You’ve got to pay for it otherwise. That’s why you would do it.

 

Skip: Free is good.

 

Samantha: That’s right. Free is always the best price. Uh, and also a lot of people are saying that the affluent Chinese that are buying this is kind of like, oh, you have the bigger TV, you have the, the bigger car, you, as bigger is better is what they’re saying, which is kind of different from the way a lot of people in the West are thinking now that they are downsizing their homes. They are downsizing their devices. They are downsizing everything and making things smaller, but in China, it seems to be the opposite reaction.

 

Skip: Hmm. When the iPhone 6 first came out, I took a close look at the 6 Plus and the 6 and for me I went with the 6. The Plus was just too big and in addition, I have an iPad. So I couldn’t justify getting a Plus and while at the same time using an iPad. So I went for the 6, but if I only had one device, yeah, me too, I would have considered using or going with just the Plus.

 

Samantha: Since the Samsung Galaxy came out, I remember when the Samsung Galaxy came out, I’m thinking to myself, gosh, that screen is huge! And now when you look at the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus, it does make a sense if that is your only device that you’re going to have, then definitely you know, make it bigger.

 

Skip: I know in the Apple community, after Steve Jobs passed away, there was a lot of speculation, would Apple go to a bigger screen? Uh, Steve Jobs was famous, he thought that the size of the iPhone 5 was the perfect size and they didn’t want, uh, that he didn’t want to go to a bigger screen, but Tim Cook, who knows China very well, he pushed for the bigger…

 

Samantha: Yes.

 

Skip: …bigger phone and obviously it was the right call.

 

Samantha: Very much so. Uh, Tim Cook actually had an earnings call at the end of April and had mentioned that Apple sales in China were up 71% in the first quarter this year from the fourth quarter of 2014 and analysts predict that China could bring in as much as 40% of Apple’s revenue in the next couple of years. That’s a huge slice of Apple pie.

 

Skip: 40%, yes, that is a huge slice of pie. Sam, do you know, what are the total sales for China now?

 

Samantha: Well, Apple sales are 29% just from this past first quarter, which is what they’ve had for 2015 which is up 8% since the first quarter of last year. But revenues in China increased 71% in the three months up to March compared with the same period last year, which is and it’s not a

small little amount. You think 8%, that’s, well that’s not very much. $16.8 billion.

 

Skip: My God, that’s, that’s, that’s amazing. I do know that Apple has really been expanding the number of Apple stores in China. I was recently reading somewhere that by, right, at the moment they have 20 stores in China and they hope to open an additional 20 stores by the end of this year. In fact, they are having so many problems uh, finding enough staff to work in the stores that they’re asking American or US workers to consider relocating to China.

 

Samantha: It’s amazing that they’re trying to outsource employees for Apple considering they’re the most populous country on earth. Its online store can now ship to 350 Chinese cities and it’s planning yeah, to double the number of physical retail stores. Double them to 40 by the end of the year.

 

Skip: Well, obviously Apple is doing well in the Chinese market and it will be interesting to see where they stand a year from now.

 

Samantha: China now is the new big Apple. It’s not New York anymore.

 

Skip: Oh very, very funny. The new big Apple. Well, Sam thanks a lot. I think it’s time for you and I to get D to V, Down To Vocabulary.

 

Skip: Sam, how would you like to start us off with the first word today?

 

Samantha: Sure Skip. The first word we will talk about if the adjective affluent which means the same as rich, or wealthy. In the story, I commented that one of the reasons for high iPhone sales in China was due to the affluent crowd buying them for Chinese New Year’s in February.

 

Skip: So what you meant was that wealthy, or rich Chinese were buying iPhones for presents.

 

Samantha: Correct. Here is another example. As everyone knows, profit margins in the airline industry are very thin. Today, many airlines are reducing the number of economy seats in order to put more business and first class seats on an airplane. They do this because it is more profitable to target the affluent customers who are purchasing those types of seats.

 

Skip: In my entire life, the best I’ve ever flown is Premium Economy. I’m just not affluent enough to fly first class.  

 

Samantha: Aww, poor Skip, maybe someday.

 

Skip: Anyway, my first word today is the adjective sporadic. Sporadic communicates that something is not regular or consistent. In the story, Sam reported that Internet connection in many homes in China was sporadic. In other words, you don’t find Internet connections regularly in people’s homes. In business, sporadic is often used when talking about poor sales results. For example, our company had very sporadic sales in the month of May. On one day we sold many units, but for the next few days there were no sales. Sam, can you give us another example?

 

Samantha: I certainly can. The release of Down to Business English is quite sporadic.

 

Skip: Ha!

 

Samantha: You release two episodes on week after the next and then…nothing…sometimes for months.

 

Skip: Nice example Samantha, very lovely of you to point that out.

 

Samantha: You’re welcome.

 

Skip: But just so everyone knows, we are making a sincere effort to release episodes on a more regular and consistent basis. Sam, what’s the next word?

 

Samantha: Next, I’d like to talk about the verb downsize. I think it is very easy to get an image of this compound word if you break it into its two parts: down and size. Simply put, when something is downsized, it is made smaller. It goes down in size. In the story I said that the trend in the West is for people to downsize things like their homes and personal devices.

 

Skip: So what you meant was that in the US and Canada, it is becoming more popular to have smaller homes and smaller, lighter computers and smartphones.

 

Samantha: That’s right. Listen to this example of downsize in a business context. On June 1, Malaysian airlines downsized. They laid off all 22,000 employees and then only rehired, or brought back 14,000 people.

 

Skip: Wow, 8000 people lost their jobs because of downsizing.

 

Samantha: Yes, quite incredible. That airline has certainly had a rough time of it over the past year. But it is quite common in any industry for a company to downsize when they are facing financial difficulty. What’s your next word, Skip?

 

Skip: Now let’s look at the verb to justify. Justify means to give a good reason for someone’s action. In the story I used it in the negative sense and said that I could not justify buying the larger iPhone 6 Plus because I already had an iPad. In other words, I didn’t have a good reason to have a smartphone with such a large screen. Sam, how would you use this word in a business situation?

 

Samantha: Well for example, if I was a manager and one of my team members asked me for a raise in their salary, I might have to say something like, “I would really like to give you more money, but your performance at work in the last year does not justify giving you a raise.”

 

Skip: I’m glad I don’t work for you.

 

Samantha: It’s just an example, I’d give you a raise any day.

 

Skip: Good to know.

 

Samantha: Moving on. Our next word today is the noun speculation. Speculation is the process of making a guess or a prediction about the future based on very little, or no information.

 

Skip: So in that way it is different than an estimate or forecast, which are based on current, known information.

 

Samantha: Yes. Speculation is almost the same as to take a guess. In the story, Skip said that after Steve Jobs’ death, there was a lot of speculation that Apple would make a smartphone with a larger screen. In other words, everyone was guessing that Apple would do this because it was mainly Steve Jobs who had stopped them from making larger phones in the past.

 

Skip: You know, Sam, here in Japan, there is a lot of speculation that there will be another major earthquake hitting Tokyo in the very near future.

 

Samantha: Really? Are you worried about it?

 

Skip: Not very much. You can’t go around living your life according to speculation.

 

Samantha: I agree. Speculation is often used in its verb form – speculate. An example in a business setting would be the entire venture capital industry. It is typical for a venture capitalist to invest money in many different startup companies. They expect most of them to fail, but speculate that at least one will be successful and will make them a lot of money.

 

Skip: Personally, I don’t like to speculate when making decisions. I find it very dangerous.

 

Samantha: Well, maybe that is why you are not living the most affluent lifestyle, Skip. You know what they say, no risk, no romance.

 

Skip: Hmm, perhaps that’s true. Finally In today’s D2V is the very common phrase a slice of pie. Now, imagine you and your friends are eating a delicious blueberry pie for dessert.

 

Samantha: Mmm, my favorite.

 

Skip: Me too. So, you cut the blueberry pie up into four pieces or slices, and give everyone one slice of that pie. Hopefully, when you cut up the pie, you had divided it so that everyone’s slice of the pie was the same size. But if you were greedy, and cut it up so that your piece was bigger, you would get more of the pie while your friends would get less. You would have a larger slice of the pie.

 

Samantha: So in other words, a slice of the pie communicates the amount of something that you have.

 

Skip: That’s right. In the story Sam said that Apple’s sales in China was a huge slice of their pie. In other words, Apple’s sales in China were a larger portion of their total world sales.

 

Samatha: Actually, I made a joke about it which you didn’t catch. I said it was a huge slice of Apple pie. Get it...Apple pie...get it?

 

Skip: Yes, that’s very cute, but you’re right. I did miss it. Sorry, Sam, can you give us an example of slice of pie in a business sense?

 

Samatha: Hmm. Well, let me ask you a question. Which area do you think makes the most money from tourism? Asia, North America, or Europe?

 

Skip: Hmm. I’d say Europe.

 

Samatha: Correct. Europe has the largest slice of the international tourism pie with 7 of the top 10 tourist destinations last year being European countries.

 

Skip: And which country has the largest slice of that pie?

 

Samatha: France, as a matter of fact.

 

Skip: Really, France? Imagine that.

 

Skip: Samantha, thank you very much for that story about Apple. I can’t tell you how much fun it is for me to talk about my favorite company.

 

Samantha: Uh, you’re such a fan boy.

 

Skip: (laughing) You sound like somebody I know. Everyone, thanks for listening today. Please remember to drop by our Facebook page. Give us a like and if you have any questions about today’s topic or about vocabulary or the topic, just leave a question and either myself or Dez or maybe Sam if she has time will leave you an answer.

 

Samantha: No problem and I hope that you take good care of your cold. I’m going to make myself some ginger tea.

 

Skip: Ginger tea sounds good. I might try some myself. Thanks again, Sam. Goodbye, everyone. See you next time.

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