Millionaires in China overwhelmingly look to Apple when they want to give someone a nice gift, according to a new survey from Hurun Report. In a poll of 376 millionaires in Mainland China — people with a wealth above US$1.6 million — around one in five said that Apple was the best brand for a gift for both men and women, taking the top spot away from last year's number one, Hermès. The results find that Apple is followed by much more traditional luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Chanel, and Dior. Samsung has a presence on the list, too, but it's in 10th for men and 9th for women.
This is how Apple will sell those gold smartwatches
Apple's position at number one is particularly notable because watches and consumer electronics are among the top categories for gifts. Hurun found that watches and consumer electronics take first and second place for gifts for men, and fourth and third place for gifts for women. Apple's status as a luxury brand has already helped drive incredible profits in China, but this poll also suggests a bright future there for the Apple Watch. Though the upcoming smartwatch will start as low as $350, other models are likely to be dramatically more expensive — many models have a case made of 18-karat gold, and that sounds like something that'll appeal to many respondents of this poll.
There's a market for electronics that cost thousands of dollars, and Hurun's report speaks to how well Apple is positioned to enter it. Apple is likely aware of this. Though it's tried to position itself alongside traditional luxury brands with mixed success in locations like Paris, the Apple Watch did make its way front and center onto the cover of Vogue China. We won't find out until April how well the Apple Watch fares as an actual smartwatch, but Apple seems to have at least nailed the appeal in one major market. That's not a bad place to start.