Houston Community News >> Chinese Consumers Have Mixed Reactions to Apple's iPhone

4/14/2008-- A report from a China based research firm, Pearl Research has found that despite the iPhone not having been launched in the country - approximately 68% of the respondents have already heard of the phone. In their interviews, females were more likely to cite “trendiness” and “design” as a key factor in wanting to purchase an iPhone while males cited “utility” as the chief reason.

In the survey, the high price tag of $500 or more was the most mentioned reason for disinterest in purchasing an iPhone along with Apple’s inexperience in mobile phones.

The iPhone’s high profile has spawned Chinese copycats that duplicate iPhone’s features at a fraction of the price, retailing for $200 to $300. Pearl Research believes the popularity of these copycat phones could cut into market share for the official iPhone.

A key selling point for the iPhone is the ease through which users can intuitively surf the Internet on a touch-screen. However, this selling point of mobile Internet has less resonance in China. Through interviews with consumers, they found that most users do not use the mobile Internet extensively due to carriers’ high costs for these services.

Approximately 88% of iPod owners expressed interest in the iPhone. The iPod has created a consumer segment in China familiar with Apple products. Appealing to users beyond this core group of users remains a challenge for Apple, if it decides to release the iPhone in China.

The study is based on 450 online survey respondents and 24 in-depth one-on-one interviews across both first- and second-tier cities in China.

(Contributed by AP)