iPhone 15 Sparks Millions of Weibo Discussions; Huawei Tops Survey
China is doing (almost) all it can to kill the new iPhone 15 line domestically – the government barred its officials and state firms employees from using Apple’s phone, but it seems that’s not enough. Not enough to kill the people’s interest in the iPhone 15, at least.
Reuters is reporting that on Weibo, the busiest and most important social network in the People’s Republic, discussions on the brand-new iPhone 15 line are piling up despite the imposed restrictions. Or maybe that’s precisely the outcome to be expected, given our proclivity to gather around the “forbidden” subject… Anyway, the total number of discussions on the iPhone 15 is close to a million just several hours after the video presentation from Tim Cook’s team.
Topics devoted to the Cupertino event attracted 380 million views on Weibo, with more than 800,000 discussions, including posts, comments and likes, on the iPhone 15, reads the report from Reuters.
Of course, not all of those close to a million discussions fall in the “Oh, the new iPhone is so nice!” category – it’s only natural for the September 12 premiere to gather different opinions, especially in a place where the government has its own opinion and has made it semi-mandatory by the aforementioned methods.
In fact, last night’s iPhone 15 promo event turned itself into a warm-up round for this year’s sequel “USA vs. Huawei” wars that started in 2018 with FBI Director Chris Wray warning against buying Huawei and ZTE phones.
China’s government ban on the iPhone is not coincidental, but is chronologically aligned with the release of a new Huawei flagship in China: the Mate 60 Pro, the one that stirred a true geopolitical heat in the last few weeks.
The real battle is some days ahead, when the iPhone 15 devices become available for sale in China (online sales on Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace start on September 15, and in-stores on September 22), but right now, on Weibo, there’s a temporary winner: Huawei.
A survey by the Chinese news portal Sina on Weibo asked participants about their phone preferences, choosing between the Mate 60 and the iPhone 15. The results saw 61,000 votes for the Huawei device versus 24,000 for the iPhone 15. A survey of that kind is not to be regarded as some serious evidence for what’s about to happen, but nevertheless, it’s a market marker to an extent.
Overall, people praising the brand new iPhone 15 were mesmerized by the capable A17 chip and the improved gaming capabilities (in China, there are many mobile gamers, and the gaming capabilities of a given device are not to be neglected, or else).
The domestically made rival gathers fans around itself not only with being over 90% made locally (nationalism is as strong as ever in China these days), but with improved satellite connectivity over the Apple device. While the iPhone 15 (and iPhone 14) can text via satellite, the Huawei Mate 60 Pro can do so and make satellite calls.
For the first half of 2023, Apple held 67% of the market share for phones priced over $600, followed by Huawei with 15.6%. Let’s see what the second half of 2023 brings.