Lenovo Chief: Apple is missing a trick in China

Apple has been accused of not taking China seriously enough by Liu Chuanzhi, the head of Lenovo.

Liu, told the Financial Times: “We are lucky that Steve Jobs has such a bad temper and doesn’t care about China. If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble”.

iPhones are available in China but the FT's report suggests that they are difficult to get hold of and that demand far exceeds supply.

Carrier China Unicom sells the iPhone directly, but at a more expensive price than Chinese consumers pay to get an unlocked iPhone through unauthorised channels.

The FT didn't manage to get a quote out of Apple directly on this matter (and neither did we, as of yet) but did get clarification that Apple plans to open a new store in Shanghai on 10 July and that 25 more stores are in the pipeline.

Liu stated that one of the reasons for Apple's failings in the region was that the apps available in the App Store aren't customised for Chinese users. He said that although Lenovo cannot compete with the App Store in terms of numbers, they can be more region specific.

“This is a very practical thing", he said. "The iPhone has more than 100,000 content providers, and we have no more than 1,000”.

One company that is looking at the possible opportunities that China presents is Qualcomm. There are reports that suggest that the San-Diego based company is in talks with China Telecom with a view to expanding its BREW platform into the country.

Qualcomm has also teamed up with Chinese company SINA to create an apps store and developer community that will bring BREW applications to the Chinese market.

Do you live in China? Have you got an iPhone? If not, what device are you rocking and do you agree with Liu that Apple is missing out? Let us know using the comments below. (If you can access Pocket-lint in China that is).