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iPhone the Irresistible Attraction in China

Everyone know that the iPhone is a major hit the United States, but how is this innovative product making a splash in China when it has not been officially introduced to the middle kingdom?

Beijing, China, May 04, 2008 --( With 1 out of every 10 unlocked iPhones being used here in China, Apple’s “Wunderphone” has inevitably become the hottest mobile device of last few months. Its revolutionary design is gaining tremendous popularity among the fashionable here in China.

China Polling has been fielding a Mobile Phone Omnibus survey for the last two months and is following the buying preferences of consumer for their next mobile phone purchases. Unsurprisingly, over 65% have heard of iPhone, and among this group, more than 85% are willing to actually buy an iPhone if it’s available here in China.

Obviously, this number indicates a strong demand for the iPhone, but what are the “iPhonephiles” looking for when it comes to making a purchase decision? Findings show that Battery Life, Memory Size, Style/Design are the top features when picking a phone for all consumers. The difference between iPhone lovers and the not yet converted is all about branding. The non iPhone lovers prefer Music and Camera features rather than being wooed and indoctrinated by the hip Apple brand equity.

Features iPhone Lovers Non iPhone Lovers
Battery life 68.30% 54.80%
Memory size 66.90% 53.10%
Style/Design 59.20% 48.00%
Brand 58.50% 41.80%
Music features 53.90% 46.30%
Camera features 48.60% 44.10%
Color 44.40% 36.20%
Video features 41.90% 39.50%
Trendy model 38.00% 36.20%
Size/Tinness 37.00% 29.40%
Send emails E-mail 34.50% 33.30%
View and edit MS office series 28.90% 17.50%

(Powered by China Polling Real Time Stats, April 2008)

One of the major attractions of the iPhone is its Internet browsing capabilities; however, fees charge for mobile internet usage is quite high in China. But, it’s surprising that 83.7% of the participants have used their mobile phones to access the internet where the number climbs to 90% for iPhone lovers despite the high cost.

Have you ever used your mobile phone to access to Internet?

iPhone Lovers Non iPhone Lovers
Yes 73.40% 89.80%
No 26.60% 10.20%
(Powered by China Polling Real Time Stats, April 2008)

The already existed grey market for selling unlocked iPhones no doubt had certain amount of impact on the mobile phone market. This raises the question for other brands in the market - Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola etc. “What can we do to prevent the risk of losing big market share once iPhone is formally introduced to China?”

Number of Samples: 521
Data Capture Period: 2008.2.1 – 2008.4.9

ChinaPolling conducts Omnibus Surveys on an ongoing basis to provide continuous tracking of consumer trends in China. This innovative approach to tracking consumer behavior will allow companies looking to enter the China market to get the most up to date information about what’s hot and what’s not here in China. The 25 question survey for the Mobile Phone industry answers some very basic question of purchase decision for this very competitive category. All real-time datasets are available to purchase online. Additional questions can be added into the Omnibus Survey and field at any time. For more information please contact Allan Chou at

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China Polling
Allan Chou

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