Meizu Borrows Ideas From Apple, Preparing to Open International Stores

December 2nd, 2011 in , ,

meizu-unboxing
Meizu, a Chinese electronics manufacturer who has a history of “borrowing” design ideas from Apple, has already opened a chain of retail stores in China after making huge profits on selling the M8 (first-gen iPhone clone) and the M9. Today, the company is ready to open its first store outside mainland China, and that’s in Hong Kong! It might go head-to-head with Apple’s flagship store in Hong Kong! And MX is coming very soon!!!





Meizu has 104 Retail Stores in mainland China

Meizu did a good job on marketing its products in the world’s second-largest economy. Just like what Apple did, the company opens a retail store to sell its products such as smartphones and mp3 players to local consumers. Comparing with Apple, Meizu has a chain of retail stores all over China, including the country’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities such as Chengdu, Nanjing, Suzhou, Yantai, and Wuxi. Apple has only 5 stories in China — 3 in Shanghai and 2 in Beijing. Apple does have stores in other places of China, but all of them are Apple’s authorized reseller stores (for a complete list of Apple reseller stores in mainland China, click here), or those bad-ass fake Apple stores.

In just 2 years time, Meizu opened a total of 104 retail stores. Their latest store is set to be opened in Hong Kong, and the company treats this as its first step for entering the international market.

Where Is The New Hong Kong Meizu Store Located?

It’s located in Mong Kok, a place where you can shop for gadgets, computers, mobile phones, cameras, game consoles, sneakers, and toy figurines. According to ABC news, Mong Kok is the busiest place on Earth. So, Meizu is ready to open a store in the district, but we think Hong Kong’s soaring rents will make Meizu face difficulties to maintain the store in the city.

Meizu is now recruiting people to work at its new Hong Kong store. The requirements? You need to know how to speak Cantonese, English and Mandarin. You need to have a basic knowledge in electronics, and you will be paid 12,000-16,000 HKD (about $1545-2060) monthly. We think that’s a pretty good offer.




Meizu Store Is Small, That’s Why Meizu Can Open More Stores than Apple in China

We all know Apple store is a wonderful place to shop for Apple products, just look at the gorgeous glass staircase and the massive glowing Apple logo at the front doors! Apple store even features a theatre for presentations, workshop, studio for training with Apple products, and all stores offer a Genius Bar for technical support and repairs. Meizu store does not have all these stuff.

Inside a Meizu store, there are banners and LCDs showing the company’s smartphone, some wood tables with Lenovo all-in-one desktops, and 3-4 staff helping customers to set up their smartphones.

Meizu stores located in China’s top tier cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou are often too crowded to shop and we often see customers seeking for help to set up their smartphones. So, the Meizu staff looks like an Apple Genius helping people to solve their problems.


Meizu MX Is Almost Ready for Launch, Will Come Along with Ice Cream Sandwich

Meizu’s next-generation smartphone, MX, will have 16GB and 32GB versions, the 16GB version comes with a dual-core 1.4GHz processor (the same as in the Galaxy Note) and the 32GB version will boost a quad-core chip. Both versions pack a 4.3-inch qHD display, HSPA+, removable back cover, non-removable battery, micro-USB port, and overall thickness will stay within the 10mm (0.4-inch) threshold. As for the built-in camera for the machine: it will acquire front and rear cameras with the rear being an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor with LED flash. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the MX is it features a new optical trackpad to replace the home button.

For price and availability, the MX will cost around ¥3,999 ($625) and ¥4,999 ($780) in China, and guess what, the 16GB model will be priced at 3,300-3,600 HKD ($425-463) in Hong Kong, that’s lower than China’s price tag! Yup, the Hong Kong Meizu store will have the honor of selling the new MX, but the company still hasn’t given any words about the MX’s release day. What’s more, the MX launched in Hong Kong will have more features like: Google Mobile Services, Facebook or Android Market applications which do not come with the original MX sold in China. And Meizu will not lock the bootloader on the Hong Kong ver. MX, while the China ver. MX’s bootloader will be locked to prevent Chinese users to flash custom ROMs onto the phone.


Meizu Dealers Now Accepting Pre-orders for MX

Meanwhile, some Meizu dealers in China recently announced in Meizu’s official forum that they are now accepting pre-orders for the MX. Meizu has also started to accept pre-orders. A 200 yuan non-refundable reservation fee will be charged to customers when making a pre-order. In our points of view, we think the reason that Meizu so hurries to accept pre-orders may be because that its biggest rival Xiaomi will make its Xiaomi phone available to everyone on 18th December, and the phone will be shipped in 24 hours once an order is placed. So, Meizu needs to act fast to sell its flagship phone to the local consumers.


Wrap-up

Today, Apple has 5 stores in China, and hundreds of authorized reseller stores in the country’s 2nd and 3rd tier cities. On the other side, Meizu has 104 retail stores in China, and the company is finally opening a store in Hong Kong, and more new stores will land at Macau and Taiwan. We think Meizu did a really good job on expanding their retail stores into smaller cities, since focusing on Shanghai and Beijing gives a misleading picture of what’s going on in China. You may not know — Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, account for only 9 percent of China’s population. There are many more people living in the Tier Two and Tier Three cities, and these people could bring more sales revenue to Meizu. Well done Meizu, keep up the good work! However, beware, Xiaomi is getting stronger…