Chinese-made cell phone challenges the iPhone

Chinese-made cell phone challenges the iPhone

People are lining up for the Meizu M9, the country's first popular domestically made cell phone
Meizu M9 launch
Amazingly enough these lines aren't for an iPhone launch, but for the Meizu M9 phone launch.

Although it’s hard to believe sometimes that there are phones in China other than the iPhone, the launch of the Meizu M9 proves that “Made in China” can still get market share here.

“We have tens of local mobile phone brands in China, some are shanzhai [clones or fakes] and some are not,” writes Chinese tech blogger Gang Lu on his blog, “but, never ever, [have we] seen people so thirsty for a new phone model like the M9, and even queuing for it.”

More on CNNGo: Photos from the opening of the Shanghai Apple Store

The M9, produced by Meizu and launched on January 1, is believed by many to be the biggest domestically produced challenge to the iPhone’s dominance in China.

In Huaqiangbei, the cradle of China's shanzhai phone production, “over a thousand Meizu fans were queued for their dream phone, the M9, which they have been waiting two years for, since the release of M8,” reported Mobinode.

The phones were available in flagships stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen and sold out before many in the crowds were able to get their hands on one.

The M9 is priced at RMB 2,499 (US$379) for an 8 GB phone, and RMB 2,699 (US$409) for a 16 GB.

For more photos of the lines in all four launch cities, check out MIC Gadget.

The popularity of the Meizu M9 underscores the 2011 tech trend of the increasing importance of mobile technology.

More on CNNGo: Chinese tech trends to watch in 2011

Zero2IPO, a China-based consultancy, expects shipments of mobile phones to surpass that of PCs in two years' time, and domestically produced phones will be king, predicts Benjamin Joffe, CEO of Asia-focused digital research company +8*.

“If [smartphone manufactures] bring the price to within the golden RMB 1,000 to 1,500 bracket, it may usher in the age of smartphones for the masses,” predicts Joffe.