Apple has been suffering in China of late, dropping to fifth place in the region for smartphone shipments.
Keen not to lose such a key market, Apple has made plans to build an R&D centre in China before the end of 2016 to gain a better foothold.
However, it looks like it might have yet another uphill struggle on its hands with the iPhone 7.
Tech in Asia has been monitoring the most popular reactions to the iPhone 7 on major Chinese sites, and has uncovered an extremely negative sentiment.
“There’s no way I’ll ever buy an iPhone again," reads one, with 4,330 upvotes. "It lacks innovation, it lacks vision, it’s just a fraud that’s been made into a luxury product."
“It can’t compare to the camera on the Huawei P9," says another, reflecting the dominance of local brands over Apple. "I firmly refuse to buy Apple and support Chinese products.”
A third states: "In the end the iPhone has sunk to just being a regular phone.”
If this is a feeling that others share - and the 3,163 upvotes suggest that it could be - it may be a problem for Apple in China. Especially as the iPhone 7 will cost $808 in China.
Not enough difference, too much expense
A NetEase tech poll also found that only 26% of 40,000+ respondents plan to buy the iPhone 7 at its current price.
Interestingly, the source of most Western confusion - the removal of the heaphone jack - seems to be of little concern to Chinese consumers.
Instead, an isue that comes up a lot is the fact that iPhone 7 Plus’s dual lens camera has already been done by Huawei. Also, its protruding shape is deemed ugly.
Of course, looking at comments is hardly the most representative measure. After all, plenty of those in the West griping about the iPhone 7 right now will likely still end up buying one.
And there are early signs in the West at least that Apple is onto another winner with the iPhone 7.
Pre-orders have opened for a 16 September shipment - but some orders may now take longer due to high demand which suggests early devices are already selling out.
But with Apple already on the decline in China, the early signs are that iPhone 7 may struggle to turn things around on its own.
With big rewards on offer and bags of money to invest however, it looks like Apple will do all it can to make itself a success in China and claw back Android's share of the market.
[Source: Tech in Asia]