Kyocera Exits the China Handset Market
Japanese handset manufacturer Kyocera was facing intense competition in China in 2006 and they opted to deploy a drastic low-end strategy to survive in the Chinese cellular phone market. Kyocera launched a new “for China” Kyocera handset that supported minimum functions – voice call and simple e-mail.
April 2006 – Kyocera made a strategic decision to roll out ‘low-end’ handsets in China – “Kyocera of Japan is going to reinforce its cellular phone operations in China. The company is going to develop stripped-down handsets priced less than 400 yuan ($49.93 @ yuan 8.01/$US 1) at its Chinese subsidiary and will debut them before the end of 2006.”
What happened? Kyocera found themselves in an un-winnable price war on low-end handsets … a very dangerous game to play in China (Knock-off central).
The mid to high-end market in China is also competitive and price sensitive. Nokia has carved out a large share of the China market (70 million handsets in China in 2007). Full-featured phones need to bring something special to grab market share from Nokia.
How will Apple iPhone fare in China against the likes of Nokia and new China entrant RIM? Well, iPhone is already the black-market rage in China. And no secret as to why:
· Gorgeous screen
· Safari with amazing web view/experience
· OS X
· Un-paralleled user-interface design
· Best iPod ever
· New TBA 3G version for China will support multiple 3G protocols.