Is the iPhone 5C Cheap Enough to Sell to China?

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Sept. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Duncan Clark, chairman & founder at BDA China, examines Apple's launch of the iPhone 5C and 5S in China and its prospects in the market against Samsung and other lower-priced competitors. He speaks on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West."

For more, i want to bring in doug and clark from new york, and advisory firm that helps companies expand in china.

Doug, you have been obviously following the market development for years.

This particular event, some people are calling it simply a rerun of what happened in cupertino.

What is your take?

Exactly, we do have the time difference of 15 hours between california and china, but that does not mean that you have to have reruns.

This is effectively a repeat.

It had been hyped up diver but -- either by the company or by the media expecting things.

In the end, the c stands for confusion.

With each on a mobile deal, basically there was not much point in having this press conference.

Why do you think the c stands for confusion?

I should add, duncan, that you are based in china.

For many people, many analysts have thought that to really compete in china, apple needs to really go down market and have cheaper phones for the masses.

Obviously china mobile, with whom they have yet to have a subsidized phone, has over 750 5 million users, only 155 million are smart phone users.

This was a huge opportunity to bring on at the midmarket iphones.

The problem is that apple, i think, sees itself more of a premium brand, and there is some sense to say they should stick to that.

They have not priced competitively enough against samsung.

They're kind of between a rock and a hard place.

At the high-end, samsung is a major competitor, and at the low end, we see smartphones coming out.

It is a little bit unclear what is their strategy.

I'm curious what happens in the electronics markets where customers are looking at all of the fun spirit obviously samsung has one of the bigger screen, another have a cheaper phone.

When they go to these markets and their choosing between these phones, what does apple stand for to them.

One michael -- one might result came out with the venus, in the end, it did not work because chinese consumers do not -- do not like to think of themselves as low-end mass.

They like to think of themselves as unique individuals, they use the iphone particularly to express their prestige status spirit however, there is this low rate market that is developing fast.

They're not going to be premium, then they -- i mean basically anything iphone is going to be seen as premium.

Companies like zhou mi and others are exporting -- exploiting the -- after cells and things like that.

Apple has been slow to penetrate fast enough.

That is why we have seen fake apple stores going ahead of demand.

They have become reluctant to embrace that mid market, and it is costing them.

The other point that has been made about the iphone 5 c is you are basically advertising that you have the cheaper version.

Teenagers may or for this because the colors are cool.

But others may say hey, i do not want people to know that i have the cheaper phone.

You think chinese consumers would have that reaction as well, or will they think the colors are cool?

Eh.

cheap -- $755 unsubsidized.

That is the big problem.

If it is not cheap enough to make a big difference versus a low-end -- and thoughts of zhou mi and other smart phone providers, and/or it is growing at a huge clip, but not cheap enough to make a difference.

You mentioned, like them sung in the note, it is called the no faith in china, you see many female users have such large funds that you never see their faces -- phones that you never see their faces.

This is really a challenge to iphone.

We have not seen the response.

$733 unsubsidized, i want to clarify that.

One last point about china mobile, bloomberg has reported that the deal is going to happen, but it has not happened yet.

Though it will be happening in the near term, you know, what is taking so long?

China mobile has its own unique standards, which is not attractive to apple.

We are really talking about 4g, the world of 3-d lte.

China mobile will deploy that until the middle of next year.

There is no rush at the moment to do that.

Apple has been interest in china mobile, but china mobile can afford to wait.

One wonders whether apple was hoping to announce at this press conference the china deal and it was not happening.

It was kind of like obama's press conference last night when it really was not about anything.

Between apple and china mobile, it is painful to watch, they are

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.

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