Apple’s invincible iphone reached 100,000 units of sales in Mainland China, 40 days after the official debut. via iphone blog
A friend of mine wrote an analysis of the unsatisfactory sales figure in Chinese, providing several possible answers.
- Late entry into China Market
- No wifi due to Chinese cell network policy
- Ridiculously high price
- Not a generous amount of app available
Altho CEO of China Unicom claimed the figure beat the expectation and is confident in iphone becoming the most popular cell phone in China, I would say this outcome is a fiasco.
There is no room for debate on the negative effects brought by lack of wifi and grey market; I would like to add that this fiasco also comes from a marketing failure and a user experience acceptance failure.
My telecommunication working experience in China tells me China Unicom has a notorious reputation in the industry, for its delay of denial of last 10% or even 20% of the payment such as cellphone network station construction, and it is seldom good at providing effective marketing strategy to cater to different users’ need. I really have no idea why iphone pick Unicom as network carrier partner in China.
The second point I would like to stress is the acceptance of elegant usability in China. There are a good amount of user experience professionals working as evangelist in China but an even larger amount of developers believe user experience is just merely graphic design plus some fancy coding effects or libraries. A side example is, Japanese cellphone manufacturer Sharp, who specializes in the cellphone industrial design, gained significant revenue without promoting its brand. We can’t really influence the taste of consumers but we CAN bring products with excellent usability to our consumers.
Take iPhone homescreen as an example,
iPhone hints users to use their thumb to swipe the screen leftward or rightward with no explicit text notification. The only trick apple uses is the five dots on the bottom of the screen, giving users a subtle but super effective hint, “there’s something on the right”.
Also, iPhone app logos share the same pattern and blending effect, this harmonized effect unifies all apps and makes the iPhone more usable.
Back to the topic of iPhone. My attitude is, “positive”. iPhone didn’t become an influential player in Japanese market until the 3rd generation. Considering the fact that Japan and China share similar Asian patterns – games and susceptibility to new technology – we can see a promising future for iPhone.
Thanks for reading. Next time, possibly this Wednesday, I’ll discuss more on our website redeisgn progress, specifically, the visitors survey.