Come January 17, there will be a new player in the huge Chinese smartphone market. That’s right. The world heavyweight when it comes to the luxury-branded smartphone’s Apple is debuting with China’s biggest mobile network. China Mobile announced that it will start carrying Apple’s iphone come January 17. What does this mean? Well, first of all, even if Apple doesn’t do anything regarding its price, debuting in China can impact its bottom line. Why? China Mobile has such a huge grip on the Chinese smartphone market that even a few percentage points increase in Apple’s market share can translate to a huge income. Remember, there are over one billion people in China and there are hundreds of millions of smartphone users. Apple only needs to get a few percentage of this hundreds of millions of users to register some serious sales. Another point of significance is that, the Chinese market is not as tough as people claim it to be. It’s not hermetically sealed. Sure, it will take several years of negotiations and a lot of back and forth, but many patient American companies can still gain a foothold in China.
Be that as it may, there are lot of challenges for Apple’s growth in this huge and significant market. It’s biggest obstacle is the fact that most people in the United States much less the rest of the world, don’t have the luxury of paying several hundred dollars for a smartphone that has the same rough features as typical low priced Android phone. This is the biggest challenge Apple will face. As it stands, Apple’s debut with China Mobile really is like a luxury brands debut in the new market. If it really wants to gain attraction in China, it has to dramatically reduce its price. No, I’m not talking about the iphone 5c. It has to do better than that. Because as mentioned in our previous posts, the 5c is actually not much of a price improvement over Apple’s other wares. Just how cheap does Apple need to go? We are talking about 50 dollar to 75 dollar range. If Apple is able to do that, then maybe Apple would be in contention. But considering how fast android smartphone prices are dropping, Apple’s window of opportunity is quickly shrinking.