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Chinese App Store succeeding in spite of barriers

updated 05:00 pm EST, Tue November 17, 2009

Piracy, device limitations hamper potential

The App Store is doing fairly well in China, in spite of obstacles to its adoption, says the Wall Street Journal. Over $1 million in sales are said to have been made so far, a significant amount given the short space of time in which the store has been open. Some popular apps include the instant messaging title QQ, and the real-time strategy game Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

Several factors may make the App Store less than desirable for many Chinese. Most of the apps available are described in English, and shoppers must buy them with a credit card from a Chinese bank, a relatively rare possession. Current Chinese iPhone models also lack Wi-Fi, limiting the functionality of some programs. The feature is expected to be restored later this year.

A bigger concern is said to be piracy, as there are thought to be over 2 million jailbroken iPhones in the country. All of these can potentially install stolen apps, and local pirate websites typically feature more comprehensible Mandarin instructions.

Only 5,000 official subscribers are reported to have signed up with China Unicom at launch, but it is estimated that the carrier could sell as many as 550,000 iPhones within the space of a year.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +5

    wait...

    ummm... so is the $1million in purchases made by the 5,00 users? those are some hi-spending customers.

    And is anyone else alarmed by the popularity of " Command & Conquer" ... OMG they are preparing for a takeover!!! the Reds are coming for us... noooooooo!!!!!


    OK - I'm just kidding... really ;)

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    If only a few iPhones have been sold

    and all those downloads are taking place, then I guess the Chinese much have more money than the analysts are claiming. It may only be a matter of time before iPhone sales go into high gear in China. At least the top guy at China Unicom is thinking positive.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sold

    You people do realize that the 5000 are the ones who just bought the phone, and the sales are being made to all people in China with an iPhone. You know, those millions of people who got one on the gray market over the last couple of years?

    Oh, and how about this, straight from the BSA handbook:

    A bigger concern is said to be piracy, as there are thought to be over 2 million jailbroken iPhones in the country. All of these can potentially install stolen apps, and local pirate websites typically feature more comprehensible Mandarin instructions.

    OMG! Those jailbroken phones can potentially install stolen apps! Just like every computer can potentially install stolen apps! Send out the cops and stop them now!

    And are you trying to state that the local pirate sites have jailbreak instructions that are more comprehensible, and are in Mandarin, or that they are more comprehensible because they are in Chinese and not English, and thus they can read the instructions. Because I would assume there are jailbreak instructions in most any language that one uses and would want a broken iPhone.

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