For China Unicom, currently China’s second-largest mobile phone provider, an expected deal to distribute Apple‘s iPhone in the world’s mist connected nation might be a hit, Shaun Rein does expect major bears on the way for iPod, he tells Brand Republic Asia. Apple will have to make a huge effort to cash in on the high expectations.
Shaun Rein, managing director of China Media Research (CMR), noted that alignment with China Unicom could be a “game changer” for China Unicom, which he said suffers from low consumer satisfaction rates compared to its bigger rival.
“The only reason to use [China Unicom] would be because of Apple,” Rein said, stating that there was a large, enthusiastic market for the iPhone in China. “It’s clear that Chinese consumers love the iPhone and are willing to pay a premium for it.”
Nonetheless, Rein pointed to reluctance among many potential consumers to sign up to the required monthly contract. The majority of Chinese mobile users favour a monthly prepaid system, he said. “Unicom will have to make the [subscription] process much easier.”
But he added that with around two million iPhones already in unofficial use across the country, a bigger challenge faced by Apple was that of premature saturation. “Apple will have to make sure they are selling the newest and best product,” he observed.