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Wednesday, 11 September 2013 08:57

Cheap iPhone is still too pricey for China

Written by Nick Farrell

Apple really does not get the concept

Apple is already having a hard job selling its new “cheap” iPhone in the market it was designed for – China. Job’s Mob is so out of touch with reality that it thought that its new plastic-backed iPhone 5C will sell for $730 in China. After all the entire nation is still an emerging market and Apple fanboys might have to sell a kidney to buy one.

But that is $200 more than the United States retail price of $549 and only $130 less than its top-of-the-line sibling, the 5S. So as the Chinese are pointing out, as far as a cheap phone to sell in developing markets the iPhone 5C is a chocolate teapot.
Chinese interviewed by Reuters said that even among Apple fanboys, the Phone is just too damn expensive.

The backlash came after a launch event in Beijing hours later on Wednesday. Chinese bloggers moaned that the iPhone 5C is so expensive and was just an iPhone 5 with a plastic back. The phrase "iPhone 5S" was the most popular search term on Sina Weibo, China's most widely used microblogging service, on Wednesday, while "iPhone 5C" did not appear on the top searches list.

Sandy Shen, a Shanghai-based analyst for Gartner said that even though Apple has a lower end iPhone now, its price is still considered mid-end in China and not low-end. Considering Apple's old rival Samsung and domestic players such as Huawei, Lenovo and Coolpad all have phones in that category, Apple will still lose out in market share in these key segments, she said. It looks like Apple’s obsession with screwing its loyal customers for too much cash will continue to cost it a lot of dosh in China.

Sales in China have been falling, partly because Apple phones are too expensive and partly because rivals are producing better products for less. Trying to con Chinese customers when you are already on the back-foot is commercial suicide.

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