Over this week, there were plenty of buzz from major medias like WSJ, DigiTime and Reuters about whether a cheaper iPhone is in the work or not. Coincidentally, Tim Cook and Apple Marketing SVP Phil Schiller were spotted in China meeting with a number of Chinese government officials, China’s three major mobile operators and interviewed by local journalists. In an official interview with Phil Schiller, he allegedly told the Shanghai Evening News that “Apple is not interested in making a cheap and low-profit iPhone”. However, this claim is now rejected after the publisher made “substantial changes” to the article. Rumors of the cheaper iPhone are still swirling around, and we have translated several comments from China’s biggest social network Sina Weibo. Let’s take a look of what do they think about the low-cost iPhone after the break.
Today, Apple’s popular iPhone 5 officially goes on sale in mainland China, and both China Unicom and China Telecom also start offering the iPhone 5 to customers. If you’re thinking iPhone 5’s launch in China will draw hundreds to thousands of Chinese Apple fans at Apple Stores in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, well, it’s not happening at all. Unlike during the iPhone 4S launch which also happened on a Friday this year during January, no long queues were formed outside the Apple Inc. stores in mainland China, to get a glimpse of the thinner, lighter, faster and better iPhone 5. No one camped outside the stores during the night, and perhaps Apple is happy to see no scuffles breaking out between security and shoppers today. We have videos and photos in this article to show you the death of Apple in China.
Few days ago, a Chinese woman got tasered by a pair of Nashua polices after she refused to leave an Apple Store. She named Xiaojie Li, 44 years old, a Chinese national who lives in Newton. On that day, Li was carrying about $16,000 in cash to shop for iPhone 5s, but Apple Store refused to sell it to her because the store manager explained she had already bought two iPhone 5s last Friday and the store policy limits customers to two phones each. Due to language barrier, Li couldn’t understand and thought it’s unfair because she saw other customers buying multiple iPhones, so she attempted to record video of them doing so. The manager then asked her to leave for numbers of times and saying she was not welcomed at there, but Li persisted to stay. Shortly, the store called the police officers to escort her out to provide mall security.
Those who have been waiting to buy a cheap Nexus 4 in Hong Kong would probably get upset by now, because some troubling reports are starting to appear. A poster from Wilson (a smartphone vendor) showed up several days ago that a 16GB version Nexus 4 will be selling at HKD$4398 (US$567), meaning it will be twice as expensive as Google’s online offering. In addition, LG has invited Hong Kong media to an announcement on the 11 December, it’s expecting to hear the white color version Nexus 4 to be announced as well.
Chinese users are actually quite unhappy with Apple’s latest announcement in regards of the launch of iPhone 5 in China, as the iPhone 5 will turn out to be the most expensive model out of all the previous generations. Many netizens found it unreasonable to pay for the iPhone 5, since Apple is just making it taller than its predecessor. They criticized Apple’s increase of price is outpacing their product innovation, but they’re still expecting to see someone to sell their kidney for the iPhone 5. Will the price hike deter Chinese consumers from buying the device?
Since the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini still haven’t launch in China yet, there’s no scalpers waiting outside of the Shenzhen Apple Store Grand Opening. Despite, it still attracted over thousands of people lining up…just for the celebration. Only few hundreds of people in the queue were real Apple fans. The rest of them lined up because they thought there were something special giving out for free, while some were just enjoying the celebration’s atmosphere. We have made a video of this Grand Opening. Check it out after the break.
iPad mini, the Apple latest smaller tablet, finally start selling in Hong Kong’s Apple Store this pass Friday. During the first day of sale, the staff at the Apple Store IFC mall’s were welcoming the customers who successfully make a reservation for purchasing the iPad mini. In the pass, the mall will crowded with scalpers and grey market traders, waiting outside to handle the “goods”. But this time, only few customers arrived to pick up their devices, thanks to the reserve and pickup system. Yes, casual consumer just can’t walk-in to the store and buy the new gadget, Apple won’t allowed. Even the press were not so interested to cover the news, we only saw about 10 journalists on the spot. It was even more desolated compare to the previous iPhone 5’s launch. Although the blue-shirts troops were giving customers big claps and cheering, but it’s still helpless to the deserted atmosphere …
We have covered a lot on the unique grey market situation revolving around primarily Apple products. Since the iPhone 4 launch, Apple has been unable to curb this lucrative business in China and Hong Kong. Yesterday, Apple has opened their 7th Apple store in mainland China, and it is located at Shenzhen, which is an emerging megalopolises in southern region of China. Shenzhen is also a home to Foxconn, Apple’s primary contract manufacturer for iOS devices. It also happens to be the center of the grey market business in China, where the city is a turning point of supplying smuggle iPhone from Hong Kong. The new Shenzhen Holiday Plaza store is a significant one as it represent Apple trying to take a bite out of the grey market, which is always a thorn in Apple’s side …
In Apple’s Q4 results conference call, Tim Cook and other Apple executives are expected to discuss about numbers, iPhone 5 sales, iPad mini profit margins and retail stores. It’s surprising to hear Tim Cook disclosed the launch of iPhone 5 in China on the call, although he did not say which date exactly. But this would be warn scalpers in Hong Kong that the iPhone 5 grey market price will gradually drop in the next one and a half months, and it also gives an indication to Chinese scalpers to get ready for the iPhone 5 launch in China. Allegedly, China Unicom will be the first carrier to unveil this product, then China Telecom. More info after the break.
Apple’s brand-new Beijing Wangfujing location opened its doors today to swarms of Chinese Apple fans, journalists and tourists. The new store is a pretty big deal for a few reasons. First, Wangfujing is an iconic place and one of the most photographed landmarks in Beijing. Second, at nearly 25,000 square feet, this location is Asia’s largest Apple Store, and China’s biggest one. Third, the store features a three-story glass staircase and dual 360-degree Genius Bar counters. So, Apple iFanatics in Beijing are excited about the new store, and thousands were seen queuing up outside the new store, awaiting for the chance to step into the new store. We have lots of photos after the break, and videos!!!
There Are Too Much Light Pollution Over at Hong Kong Apple Stores
Amazon is the First Foreign Tech Company to Offer Paid Android apps in China
You Can Buy Fresh Crocodile Meat in China Supermarket
Lenovo First MediaTek-based Smartphone Teased by Kobe Bryant (Video)