“Want to buy an iPhone in Beijing? Talk to Liu Yong. Apple’s wonder isn’t legally available in China, but Liu, who operates an electronics shop in the Zhongguancun neighborhood close to the capital’s premier universities, has plenty of inventory and is more than happy to sell you one for about $680,” Bruce Einhorn and Chi-Chu Tschang report for BusinessWeek.
“Don’t worry that Apple hasn’t authorized any Chinese cellular operator to serve the iPhone; the software in Liu’s iPhones is hacked to enable you to use the phone locally. Inputting Chinese characters on the iPhone’s touch-screen is no problem either, he says. But buy now, he warns, because prices are heading upward as demand for the world’s coolest phone is increasing,” Einhorn and Tschang report.
“With more than 160 million Chinese surfing the Internet, it’s easy for people to follow the latest trends in the U.S. Moreover, many upscale Chinese regularly upgrade their phones to the latest high-end model. And there’s now nothing more high-end than Steve Jobs’ creation. ‘There is a real pent-up demand for the iPhone,’ says Shaun Rein, marketing manager at China Market Research Group in Shanghai. ‘The iPhone is considered by many Chinese to be the best phone out there,'” Einhorn and Tschang report.
“The challenge for Apple is how to capitalize on that popularity. Seduced by the lure of 1.3 billion potential customers, other Western tech companies have been focusing on China for years. China, after all, is already the world’s largest cellular market, with 528 million mobile users. It’s the No. 2 PC market, behind only the U.S.,” Einhorn and Tschang report.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mike in Helsinki” for the heads up.]