No, dougwithau. we never said that China cannot have a premium brand. They actually LOVE premium brands like Apple. The issue is that those China Mobile subscribers -- the largest subscriber base in China -- need to move onto LTE to truly appreciate the power of iPhone 5. Right now, their proprietary 3G (TD-SCDMA) is not doing its justice (compared to the standard 3G); so most iPhone users under China Mobile are using 2G!
Something needs to change here.
But at any rate, what I was amazed about is the irony that many industry observers including myself who thought cheaper iPhone 5c might be perfect for Chinese consumers might turn out to be false.
China can not have a premium brand? Why? There is money being made in China, by Chinese. The people with money want to have the latest, greatest, fastest coolest stuff, just like... ummm ... everywhere.
I read there are about 200 Million high end celular customers in China. Will everyone in the country buy the 5s, NO. Even 100 Million new phone buyers is pretty good.
I don't want to say "I told you so," but it might just be, as we wrote a few weeks ago, Chinese consumers may not bite iPhone 5c. I wonder what was Apple's original expectaion -- in terms of 5c vs. 5s demand in China.