China's Apple fans on the wane?

Updated: 2012-09-13 17:56


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BEIJING -- Chinese Apple fans seemed to enjoy a sound sleep while the company unveiled its iPhone 5 Wednesday in the US.

Out of more than 36,000 respondents, about 48.1 percent said they would "not buy the iPhone 5" in an online survey by Sina, China's major web portal.

Around a quarter, 24.6 percent of all respondents would "wait and see" while 27.3 percent of all respondents said they would "buy it".

China's Apple fans on the wane?

The iPhone 5 on display after its introduction during Apple Inc's iPhone media event in San Francisco, California, Sept 12, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua] 

"I will consider buying the iPhone 5 after it is available in China, maybe in several months, but the impulse has dimmmed into inertia," said Wang Yao, a 26-year-old white collar worker in Beijing.

With the iPhone 4S in hand, Wang said she has had three iPhones at one time or another and two iPads, but "the feeling of being unique has long faded away as so many people have the iPhone".

According to Wednesday's media event in San Francisco, the iPhone 5 has a 4-inch screen compared with the 3.5-inch display of the previous models.

"Now, today we're taking it to the next level, making a huge leap," Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook said at the event.

Apple used to be a piece of artwork, said Feixiangwang Xiangligang on Sina Weibo, China's most popular microblogging site.

"The mystical expectation has faded into 'everything known' with the latest iPhone 5," Feixiangwang said.

Analysts have predicted the arrival of the iPhone 5 will spur a rebound in Apple's smartphone sales and also boost the global smartphone market for the rest of the year.

Apple is expected to introduce more innovation and new products, which is in its DNA thanks to its late co-founder Steve Jobs, said Wang Yong, secretary general of Brand China Industry Union.

"In spite of this, the psychology of customers or even Apple fans will subtly change as its products gradually change from representing individuality into a street fashion," he said.

Apple is in a different smartphone market environment, in which world's electronic giants such as Samsung are yearning for a share of the profits, said insiders.

Cong Sen, director with the mobile business of the Zhongguancun Online, a flagship website of China's technology web portals said the booming new mobile models with large touch screens, user-friendly systems and cost performance are squeezing iPhone's market.

"Chinese consumers are famous for the frequent replacement of mobile phones, but they are becoming more rational in the choices of brands and cost-performance," he said.

It is not known yet when the iPhone 5 will enter the market in China.

Apple has been renowned long for its "arrogance", especially to the Chinese mainland market and it has failed to meet the demand of the country's customers in both affection and services, said Wang Yong.

To win and stabilize the huge market in China, it is suggested it should pay more respect and attention to the launch time in the country, increase the sales quota and localize its services to Chinese customers, he said.