Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mobile Phones in China: Chengdu's Mobile Phone Street

In two earlier posts here and here I shared some examples of mobile phones available in Zhaotong, Yunnan and Zigong, Sichuan.  To further emphasize the immense variety of mobile phones available in China I'll now share some examples from the much larger city of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province and a key economic center of Southwest China.

While mobile phones are sold in many locations around Chengdu, I'll focus on the area including Tidu Street and Taisheng South Road in the downtown district as it is known for its large number of mobile phone stores.

Several larger stores, such as this one:

Xunjie Communication City

sell a variety of brands and do not sell any obvious fakes, knockoffs, etc.

Two salespeople in the mobile phone store

The selection at Xunjie included several of the Chinese brands I've mentioned before

The U Like Oppo phone

and also foreign brands such a Nokia and iPhone.  In fact, it was at Xunjie that I noticed the BlackBerry's and the promotion including Barack Obama I wrote about earlier (see here).

There were also many stores in the area that sold a particular brand of phone.  Here are a few of them:

LG store

Meizu store

Nokia store

Samsung store

A little about Meizu since it may be particularly unfamiliar to those outside of China...  It's a Chinese brand and its earlier M8 mobile phone ran on a version of Microsoft Windows CE 6 while its newer M9 version is based on Android.  Production of the M8 was shut down due to an intellectual property dispute raised by Apple (more here).  If you look at Meizu's web site for the M8 here you may find yourself sympathizing with Apple.

In addition to the larger stores and the brand specific stores, there were also many smaller stores along the street.

Many smaller mobile phone stores

It's at places such as these that one can often find the most variety.  Take a look:

Any favorites?

Just looking at the visual design alone makes it apparent that there are phones potentially appealing to a wide range of tastes.

As in the selection seen at the smaller stores in Zhaotong there are a number of phones that seem to have trademark infringement issues.  Examples in the above photos include Scny Ecirsscn (Sony Ericsson), Anycoll (Anycall), TPhone (iPhone), iPhome (iPhone), etc.  It is also questionable whether the Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh phones have been properly licensed.

In contrast to Zhaotong, there are some smaller stores selling genuine (I think...) high end smart phones, including those running Windows Mobile 7 and Android.

So, to sum it all up briefly: Chengdu is similar to Zhaotong and Zigong in terms of having a wide range of mobile phones.  However, Chengdu appears to offer much more in terms of higher end smart phones.

That's all for now -- just some more perspective & color on the variety of mobile phones sold in China.

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