New iPhone seen 'too pricey for China'
BEIJING: Apple Inc's lower-cost iPhone 5C will retail for more than US$700 (RM2,300) in China, putting it out of reach of most consumers and raising questions over the firm's ability to build sales in the world's biggest mobile market.
The iPhone 5C is seen as part of the US tech giant's bid to counter cheaper handsets from rivals, particularly in China where it has only a five per cent share of the smartphone market.
But the new phone will retail in China for 4,488 yuan (RM2,300) for the 16GB version, according to Apple's China online store, making it only marginally cheaper than the previous model, the iPhone 5.
It is also well above the US$549 that an unlocked iPhone 5C will sell for in the United States.
The top-line iPhone 5S starts at 5,288 yuan in China, whereas the unlocked US equivalent is US$649.
After months of speculation that Apple will release a budget model aimed at attracting customers in emerging markets, Chinese web users were quick to dismiss the iPhone 5C as too expensive.
Analysts said that the launch of the two new models was "disappointing".
"It's not worth the price," said Wang Ying, a Beijing-based analyst with consultant firm iResearch, adding that other smartphone makers including South Korea's Samsung and China's ZTE and Huawei were now well-established as rivals of Apple. AFP