5 things I hope Chinese phone brands will stop doing!

There is no doubt in my mind that Chinese phone brands will rule the international phone market in a few years, but before they have dominated there are a few things they need to work on

5 things I hope Chinese phone brands will stop doing!

While I love Chinese phones and really admire the way Chinese phone brands are growing in, there are still a few things I would like for them to improve or stop doing such as:


5. Leaking their products prematurely

All companies, regardless of where they are from, are guilty of leaking spy photos, components or specifications of their latest and greatest product, however unlike foreign companies Chinese phone brands tend to get their timing all wrong!

jiayu g3 network license delays

Apple, Samsung and now Amazon and Google all like to keep a spark of interest alive with a bit of buzz about on iPhone 5 cover, or iPad mini , which is fine because we usually have an idea of when those products will launch.

Chinese phone companies however tend to leak their designs with no idea of when they will hit the market leaving us to sit around waiting. This is no good for the customer or the brand!


4. Write the wrong specification.

Writing the wrong specification or changing it as a phone heads to production is common practice in the Chinese phone market.

wrong phone specification can be very annoying

What once was a quad-core, 5 inch screen, 2GB RAM super phone when originally ‘leaked’ might end up being a single core, badly made knock off of a well-known phone. Admittedly this practice is becoming more rare, but it still happens.

Another problem we have is with the supported frequencies which are quoted on manufacturers sites. These sometimes seem to be copied and pasted from another phone’s specification meaning you might end up buying a phone that won’t work with your operator or in your country!


3. Have an out of date English homepage

404 error pages and broken links on sites give a bad impression

Some of the larger phone companies in China such as Oppo and Meizu and even some of the lesser known brands like Zenithink have their websites available in both Chinese and English.

While this is a great gesture, considering that most of these companies aren’t manufacturing for an international audience, the English sites are often out of date and poorly written!

Broken links, bad spelling and wrong information don’t show a company in the best light, which can be particularly damning for a company who eventually decides they do want to go international.

Why can’t they just hire a writer to take care of their English site? (nice plug for me).

Gizchina News of the week


2. Manufacture less knock-offs and more original phones.

goophone i5 apple iphone 5 patent

I understand why smaller Chinese phone makers make fake phones such as GooPhone’s i5 iPhone 5 clone and the numerous Samsung Galaxy S3 clones. They did it because they don’t have to worry about marketing! The phones will market themselves on the backs of the real things.

The GooPhone i5 only got as famous as it did because it’s a clone, and unfortunately that’s what most buyers will see it as. A cheap, poor quality knock off!

goophone i5 with ios 6 theme android ics

But if you look at the specification of the GooPhone i5 which boasts a Tergra 3 Quad-core CPU, high-resolution 4 inch screen and 8 mega-pixel rear camera, you can see that this is actually one amazing phone in it’s own right with our without the iPhone 5 body.

oppo find 5 leaked

Chinese manufacturers such as Oppo, Meizu, Xiaomi, ZTE, Zopo, Huawei have proven that Chinese phones can become popular with out being knock off’s and we need to see more Chinese phone brands following suit!


1. Selling their phones in pre-order or lotteries.

did you order a jiayu g3 today?

Of all the points listed here this is the one which really bugs me and many of you. There is nothing worse than to wait for months for a phone such as the Xiaomi M1s or M2 to finally launch only to find out that you can only order it online…. AND there will only be X number available!

xiaomi m1s preorder

When it happens once it’s bad enough but when it keeps happening (the Xiaomi M1s has just had it’s 3rd preorder online sale!) it begins to get very frustrating even for me in China! I can only imagine how it feels to want one of these preorder phones when you’re in another country and not entirely sure of what is going on.


Before you start I love the Chinese phone industry but…

For a final note I just want to confirm with you all I’m not trying to bash Chinese phone brands, I have a lot of respect for what they are doing and can totally understand why they have to make the choices they do.

However, if Chinese phone brands eventually want to compete on the international market against the likes of Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC and others, then they have a few kinks to work out.

What do you guys think? I’m not being to harsh am I?

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  1. Hafid_be
    September 20, 2012

    they such a càcktease…. gd it

  2. jorge
    September 20, 2012

    To be fair my biggest problem is the goverment of my country, which dislike the fact we citizens want a broader choice than they magnanimously give us.

  3. max
    September 20, 2012

    Bro, Also add—

    Stop using either HD screens or meeker batteries. They don’t go well hand in hand.

    This also Includes repackaging 1500mAh batteries in 2500mAh marked shells. That’s too shallow to do, especially when your showing off your gorilla glass screens , breaking walnuts and all those Apple class gimmicks.

    Those $5 extra spend on battery will give you back 5 million customers.

  4. Nat
    September 20, 2012

    I agree pretty much. Also if they want to compete in the international market they should stop releasing dual core phones on ICS with 512 MB ram. I’m actually pretty impressed by the fast paced advancements in the Chinese smartphone market lately. Every smartphone (3) I ever had was Chinese and always satisfactory. Though you have to be careful. A year ago when the MT6573 processor was released, the Chinese resellers labelled the chip as dual-core when it was in fact a single-core. Just a tip for you readers: ALWAYS MAKE EXTENSIVE RESEARCH BEFORE BUYING !

  5. YaPeL
    September 20, 2012

    I will add: leaving the rest of the world out, whats the deal with mostly shipping phones with the band 850 and 2100?

  6. September 20, 2012

    Hi Andi, can’t agree more. These brands can live up and have a fighting chance even in international market. Jiayu G3 simply showed us the potential based on the hype it was generated (before people get tired of waiting).

  7. Viktor
    September 20, 2012

    Spot on.. all 5 points.

    @Max, Nat
    Battery relabelling + underpowering ICS… spot on.

    In general, have style and face… but that’s not only missing from the phone manufacturers.
    I guess this is what lacks from the current Chinese culture, where you need to show much more than you have, placing golden rims and flashing neons around everything. Riding long-version Audi A4 and VW Passats…

    Anyway, we won’t be able to change that.
    Unless everyone changes attitude, those companies will be always in the shadow who don’t ‘flash their tits’, and trying to be conservative.
    The Chinese internal market is getting bigger all the time, and the cheap manufacturers focus on that piece.. not us.

  8. Ernesto
    September 20, 2012

    “Chinese phone companies however tend to leak their designs with no idea of when they will hit the market leaving us to sit around waiting. This is no good for the customer or the brand!”

    “There is nothing worse than to wait for months for a phone such as the Xiaomi M1s or M2 to finally launch only to find out that you can only order it online…. AND there will only be X number available!”

    Hi Andy. I couldn´t have said it better. This is an utterly right and fair post that you should try and convey chinese brands´ CEOs and marketing managers (if you ever could).
    For the time being, I think that this way of releasing news and long term projects that will never probably come to reality or even expecting to buy a phone/tablet that will hit the markets 6-8 months later, not knowing about its availability and stock is really depressing.

    Again, thank you Andy for understanding this problem and let top managers know it, ´cause ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

  9. September 20, 2012


    The largest ‘loophole’ in the Chinese marketplace, in my opinion, is the lack of a trustworthy, strongly financially backed, Chinese drop-shipper for the UK and European marketplaces.

    We need to be able to ‘meet and greet’ using SKYPE or email with the VERY BEST SUPPLIERS who can GUARANTEE sales, drop-shipments and QUALITY ADVERTISING / MARKETING in our marketplace – and personal contacts.

    We need a full scale technical support and problem solving organisation English speaking staff working on European time-frames.

    I believe we need to be able to place TOTALLY SAFE ORDERS, using PayPal and Credit Cards, for multiple, batched single order, drop shipments and for 3 day delivery, in all the European markets. That would enable us to offer 6 day order turn-round here in Europe.

  10. September 20, 2012

    No comment Andy. Truth truth truth,.

  11. euston
    September 20, 2012

    Chinese phone makers , hire a design team ! Who wants to be embarrassed by a cheap knockoff it just makes the user look cheap.
    We want something unique , something with the China signature scrawled a cross it , something we can pull out of the pocket and say , yes its from China , doesn’t it look great.

  12. September 20, 2012

    1000% correct andy! each n every word u say is totally true! better u translate the same article in pure chinese and send it to all these chinese manufacturers! hopefully thy will change after seeing ur article!!

  13. Freeje
    September 20, 2012

    How about buggy ROMs and lack of “upgradeability”? That’s one of my concerns with buying Chinese phones. It’s not a problem for established foreign or even local ones like Xiaomi. If you don’t like the stock ROM then you can flash modded ones done by devs. You could try logging into Chinese forums but good luck with that. You have to get a Chinese to do that for you.

    Markets outside China are not of their concern right now. Local market to them is big enough. They don’t have the financial strength to branch out to overseas markets yet.

  14. September 20, 2012

    @freeje: I don’t think it is the most of the concern, Surely upgradeability, customization ROM is one thing, but the 5 points Andi said are the most basic and common sense on every industry, asking them for more is a bit… well too far. If they can fulfill the basic, most of the time your concern (and also mine) about upgradeability and ROM customization will come by itself. I mean look at ZTE Blade, there are tons and I really mean tons of ROM, even my Blade now running on JB (still alpha version but hey). Don’t get me wrong, I am agree that they should concern about the upgradeability, even I expect more, like unique UI that specifically unique for dual sim phone or direct access to 2g/3g toggle switch, both numbers’ call log on lock screen. But asking them this much when they cannot really fulfill the basic things are.. well.. not reasonable.

  15. Partha Dutta
    September 20, 2012

    Andi, I am in complete agreement with you and Millgate’s worries which are general worries and I endorse the same alongwith the suggestion to you by Farookb4u.

  16. dallas
    September 21, 2012

    With your product reviews and seller recommendations , at least now us ordinary Joe’s have half a chance . Up until now buying Chinese electronics was a real lottery and as for finding a reliable and honest site to buy from was a waiting game of nerves.
    Keep up the great work and great site.

  17. October 7, 2012

    Hello Andi,

    You know well, that I am seeking to create a small ‘line’ of quality “6 inch”, ‘pocketable’, smartphone/tablets and a range of accessories, to market through my website … http://www.70plus-feeling50.com

    Well … here’s some good news !!

    I’m beginning to get REAL responses from RESPECTED Chinese suppliers.

    We are discussing HW and SW, screen specs (1280 +); dual, quality, cameras, stylii and … all targeting SG NOTE 2 specs.

    All this with sensible pricing, a UK ordering process; and … ‘one to multiple’ DROP SHIPPING orders throughout Europe.on 3-6 day turnarounds.

    I’m actually planning/designing the website pages as you read this email.

    I’m encouraged to say that ‘persistence really does pay’ !!