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In Beijing, the New IPhone Gets a Resounding 'Meh'

If our non-scientific sampling of opinion is any indication, Apple's marketers have their work cut out in Beijing
In Beijing, the New IPhone Gets a Resounding 'Meh'
Photograph by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

On the day Apple released its new iPhone 5C simultaneously in the U.S. and China, I tromped around Beijing asking yuppies, restaurant workers, and migrant street sweepers what kind of phones they use—and why. It’s hardly a scientific survey, but if the mood at the Yonghegong Costa Coffee shop is any indication, Apple’s marketing people have some work to do.

Costa Coffee, near Beijing’s Lama Temple, is the kind of place that attracts the type of latte-sipping young professionals who flocked to buy new iPhones two years ago. In fact, a fair number of its customers are still using older iPhones, but they expressed mixed feelings about whether they’ll stick with Apple in the future—or opt instead for the larger Android-powered Samsung Galaxy smartphone, which is fast gaining popularity here. The iPhone 5C is routinely mocked as “not attractive.”