Apple airs its first Chinese-language ads as reports of retailer intimidation emerge
Supplementing print advertisements like the one at right, the first Apple-produced iPhone ads appeared on Chinese TV over the weekend.
They come on the heels of the device’s somewhat sluggish start last month in the world’s largest mobile phone market (more than 720 million subscribers).
In addition to the several reasons put forward — e.g., high prices, lack of Wi-Fi, a market saturated with knock-off and black-market phones — iPhonAsia‘s Dan Butterfield has added another: strong-arm tactics on the part of China Unicom’s chief rival, China Mobile CHL .
According to Butterfield, some of the country’s most important mobile phone distributors are not yet selling the iPhone despite signed agreements with China Unicom. Reason: threatening letters from China Mobile warning them not to.
“The precise wording of these letters is unknown,” writes Butterfield, “but this is more than just a suggestion.” He then quotes — in translation — an article in sina.com:
Tactics like this, as 9to5Mac‘s Seth Weintraub puts it, “make Verizon and AT&T’s little sissy war seem silly.”
Below the fold: An iPhone ad with a Chinese accent and Chinese apps.Vodpod videos no longer available.
- China iPhone launch a ‘disappointment’
- Inside Beijing’s iPhone black market
- Photo: Chinese queue up for iPhones
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]