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iPhone faces challenge in crowded Chinese market

September 12, 2013 • Business


In this photo taken Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, new plastic iPhones 5C are displayed during a media event held in Beijing, China. Last year, eager buyers in Beijing waited overnight in freezing weather to buy the iPhone 4S. Pressure to get it — and the profit to be made by reselling scarce phones — prompted some to pelt the store with eggs when Apple, worried about the size of the crowd, postponed opening. Just 18 months later, many Chinese gadget lovers responded with a shrug this week when Apple Inc. unveiled two new versions of the iPhone 5. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

BEIJING (AP) — The iPhone’s magic as China’s must-have smartphone is eroding.

Last year, eager buyers in Beijing waited overnight in freezing weather to buy the iPhone 4S. Pressure to get it — and the profit to be made by reselling scarce phones — prompted some to pelt the store with eggs when Apple, worried about the size of the crowd, postponed opening.

Just 18 months later, many Chinese gadget lovers responded with a shrug this week when Apple Inc. unveiled two new versions of the iPhone 5. Today’s market is glutted with alternatives from Samsung to bargain-priced local brands.

“There was no big change, no surprise at all,” said Gu Lanjun, a 29-year-old employee at a Shanghai bank. Having bought the three most recent iPhone models as soon as they were released, she said, “I won’t update this time.”

That lackluster reception suggests Apple faces a struggle in defending Login to read more

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