Monday, August 31, 2009

China Mobile's OPhone debuts in Beijing

Can anyone else catch that intense aroma of bootleg in the air? I don't mean to point fingers at China because hey... all the major mobile company's around the world have made Iphone / smart phones that are comparable to the Iphone.

These phones are China's homegrown challenge to the Iphone which has finally reached a "non-exclusive" agreement with China Unicom, which will be the initial carrier Apple works with in the mainland.

Employees of China Mobile show off different designs of OPhone
handsets at the first-issuing ceremony in Beijing, China, August 31, 2009.
(Xinhua/Yuan Zhou)

(Xinhua/Yuan Zhou)

I say... Let the competition begin. I just wonder if something shady is going going on behind the scenes because China Mobile and China Unicom are more like reflections of one another in terms of their company structure and place in the Chinese economy. Yes, China Mobile is bigger and has far great market share, and yes both company's have separate management and are traded on different tickers on various stock exchanges.

Nonetheless, the government has a heavy hand in both and I wonder how Apple is dealing. A friend of mine who is quite observant and logical once told me

"Government wants two big company's to make illusion of real competition, but read story is two company's mean more important jobs for people with connections and image of fair market."

I personally own shares of China Unicom ADR here in the states. Meaning... despite what people tell me about the real situation with telecoms in China, officially, I buy into the hype.

China Unicom (CHU) -
Year to date performance Aug 31, 2009