iPhone 5 faces bleak outlook in China

Summary:Whether the new Apple smartphone can enter the Chinese market remains a question as knock-off phonemaker says it had patented the design--before the official launch on Thursday--which has proven to be identical with the real model.

"The innovation plight has ended the iPhone mythology," a Sina Tech news commentator wrote after the launch of the new iPhone 5 early Thursday, adding that Apple's aura is now fading.

As Apple only launches one phone product each year, Chinese consumers always have full expectations the company will offer some eye-poppers and design creativity that will make it worth their time queuing up overnight to buy one, he said.

"The art-like design is an important part of the iPhone innovation, and is also one of the most important factors that consumers based on to decide to choose iPhone.

"With consumers facing similar products over the generations, fatigue cannot be avoided. While many of them replace their smartphones every 2 or 3 years, would you still expect them to buy another handset with the same look?" added the Sina commentary.

In another Hexun Tech report, titled "Without breakthrough innovation, Apple is now in the dead end", the author claimed a great number of fans and investors now believe iPhone 5 is no longer able to inject vigors to the market when competing with its peers.

At the same time, Apple is no longer able to maintain secrets on its new products and prevent leaks, said the report, which added that the U.S. company's high profit momentum may also not be sustainable if it is no longer able to surprise its fans in the future.

Before the official launch of iPhone 5, a Chinese phone manufacturer said it had  produced its own GooPhone i5 according to leaked pictures of iPhone 5. The knockoff phonemaker also declared it would block Apple's new iPhone from entering the Chinese market if the real model proves to be identical with leaked ones--and it has proven to be similar.

If GooPhone's manufacturer did apply to patent the design, it will be able file lawsuits against Apple as the iPhone 5 would have violated the copyrights that the knockoff phonemaker first registered  in the country.

Another Chinese report said earlier the preorder of iPhone 5 in China also encountered uncertain responses. Unlike the past when new generations of iPhone were due to be introduced in the market and shops generally received notable number of iPhone orders in advance, this time, some shops did not report even a single order from the consumers before the expected launch of iPhone 5.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, China, Legal, Tech Industry

About

Cyrus Lee, writing under a pen name, is a Hong Kong-based reporter in an English-language newspaper and a correspondent for a radio station.

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