What's the buzz?
This week, the once-great-but-now-not-so-hot phone makers Nokia have announced the launch of their new Windows phone in China. Supported on China Mobile network, the Lumia 920T will have limited direct competition against Iphone as China's largest phone operator does not offer Apple's flagship product on its 3G network. In Windows' eyes this makes their new smartphone look like a shiny, high-end option for all those who wish to stay on China Mobile's network.
Windows and Nokia have high hopes for the launch of this phone and trust it will scratch a small part of the market away from Android's massive stake.
Nokia's place in China
Without a contract, the Lumia 920T will set you back a cool 4,599 RMB, placing it slightly out of the margins of many smartphone buyers in China today taking in to account that Samsung's Galaxy Note SIII comes in at around 3000 RMB and is considered the best Android phone on the market at the moment (ask the folks down at the WireCutter). One has to really like the Windows operating system to choose to pay such a price. Others may simply have more faith in the China Mobile only TD-SCDMA interface.
The release of the phone happened yesterday December 5th throughout China and hopes to make a difference in the market over the next few months. Furthermore, partnerships with Air China to offer free wireless charging in their VIP lounges is seen as an effort to raise its image in higher circles.
Windows and Nokia have both seen better times and this newest phone could help generate change for these two companies. It remains to be seen whether the Chinese market will be their saving grace.
These days, the weather in China seemed a bit cloudy for the world famous fruit brand...
Dispute about the ‘iPad’ name
First, there was Proview, the Chinese company of media devices that claimed it owned the rights to the ‘iPad’ name in the Chinese market as they registered it back in 2000. However, Apple said it acquired the worldwide rights in 2009. To settle this, two weeks ago, Apple agreed to pay $60m to Proview and, hence, bought the global rights to the ‘iPad’ name for good.
Dispute about the ‘Snow Leopard’ name
There was also Jiangsu Xuebao, a chemistry company that bought the rights for the brand ‘Xuebao’ in China in 2000.
Xuebao? What’s the deal with Apple? Have you lost your mind?
Did you know that ‘Xuebao’ means ‘Snow Leopard’ in Chinese? You must have recognized the name of the OS (Mac OS X 10.6) of Apple. That’s why Xuebao decided to sue the Californian company. Still they sold their OS in China under the name ‘Snow Leopard’ even if in 2008, the China Patent & Trademark office rejected the request of Apple to buy the name ‘Xuebao’. That one got solved at the court of Shanghai Pudong last Tuesday : Since Apple never sold its product under its Chinese name, there was nothing to worry about.
Dispute about the Siri technology
And you can throw another one on the pile: Lately, another Chinese company named Zhi Zhen internet technology claimed that Siri, Apple’s digital voice assistant, infringes on their Xiao i Robot. Since the announcement of Apple adding Mandarin and Cantonese to Siri, Zhi Zhen seems afraid it might cause infringement to its software.
And this is only in China? O_o
Yes! There is also a bigger problem for the apple brand with an American company called Noise Free Wireless that accuses them (not us!) to have stolen its noise cancelation technology.
Anyway those cases might be a danger for Apple as others Chinese brands might follow the trend and sue them for any kind of infringement … as long as it works!
So far, the firm settles its disputes with money. China is a very important market for Apple and they don’t want to lose its precious time with long trials. It’s time to settle down there and for good!
However, the ‘fat’ years are probably not over!
Opening of a new Apple Store in China?
Have you heard of a rumor about the opening of the biggest Apple Store in the world? Well, according to a few sources (not especially good ones, but still), it might takes place in Dalian, China.
You must know that there are only 6 Apple stores in China even though it’s the biggest market in the world. Those stores have some of the best results in the world but it feels like China misses Apple in so many places.
Opening of a new market for iPhones in China?
Then Apple and China Mobile (the world’s biggest mobile phone network that owns about 67% of the Chinese market shares) are apparently ‘in talks’ to offer China Mobile’s customers an iPhone. Its rivals, China Telecom and China Unicom, are already including this possibility in their currents offers.
Even though the iPhone is not an official product of China Mobile, it’s estimated that 15 million of the company’s customers are already iPhone users, according to BBC. If these ‘talks’ went to a good end, Apple might infiltrate a huuuuuuuge market.
However, it seems that it’s more a problem of technology and compatibility. China Mobile’s network does not support the iPhone yet, for technical reasons everyone might not understand...
Who said me?
Anyway the iPhone operated by China Mobile will be released soon but it’s more likely, we’ll have to wait until the 4G network is really working in China. Question is: how long?
Google won’t be the default search-engine in Safari anymore… At least in China!
Last (but definitely not least) is that iOS6 will be released in China with a couple unexpected things. The first one, I told you about it earlier : Siri will speak Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese so far)! The second one (and the most important one as I work for a SEO company) is that Baidu will now be the default search-engine in Safari! Ouch for Google…
Chinese can now buy the iPhone 4 in Apple Stores located in Beijing and Shanghai and at China's mobile operator Unicom retail stores.
The smartphone is already in shortage in most of stores. Nothing surprising though since more than 500,000 Chinese had pre-ordered the iPhone 4 before its release.
The demand is still very strong but Apple may have learnt from the mistakes of the iPhone 3GS: only 5,000 units were sold during its release latest year.
Today, among the 420 million Chinese connected online, 277 million are accessing the Internet through their mobile phone.