This (below) keeps me optimistic. Smartphone opp in China is still vast. Size of user base makes it difficult to create "standards" as large sectors can go diff directions. However, even a small slice of the pie is nice!
UPDATE: China End-June 3G Users 25.2 Mln; Below Government TargetLast update: 7/20/2010 3:38:55 AM(Adds more ministry comments, details of 3G growth in China.) By Owen Fletcher Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES BEIJING (Dow Jones)
--China had 25.2 million users of third-generation mobile wireless technology at the end of June, lagging the government's target because the country's mobile carriers had problems with network coverage and supplying suitable handsets for the services, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said Tuesday. China's three telecommunications giants are in a race to recruit subscribers to their 3G services, which allow faster data downloads and attract higher fees. Each of the three companies uses its own 3G standard, with China Mobile Ltd. (CHL), the world's largest mobile carrier by subscribers, promoting a locally developed technology. China's 3G users have grown from 18.08 million at the end of March, but Zhang Feng, director of the ministry's telecommunications development department, said during a news briefing that the end-June figure was "still far from the expected target." The ministry has targeted increasing the number of 3G users in China to 150 million by 2011. But analysts say the spotty network coverage and a limited selection of handsets are hindering subscriber growth. As well as the network coverage and handset issues, the carriers' service plans failed to attract strong demand, Zhang said. "But we believe those three factors can be properly addressed in the time to come." China Mobile said Tuesday it had 10.46 million 3G users at the end of June. That gave it a 41.5% share of the country's 3G users, the largest among the three big carriers. China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. (CHU) said Monday it had 7.56 million 3G users. The data imply China Telecom Corp. (CHA), which doesn't publicly disclose the figure, had 7.18 million 3G users at the end of June. But government data can vary slightly from the figures provided by the carriers. Investment in China's 3G networks in the first half totaled CNY19.2 billion ($2.83 billion), much less than last year's total of CNY160.9 billion, Zhang said. Total investment in 3G network construction this year could reach CNY95 billion, largely in line with a target at the beginning of the year, he said. Investment in the 3G networks has fallen because the main construction phase has passed and the price of network equipment is falling, Zhang said. -By Owen Fletcher; Dow Jones Newswires; 8610 8400 7702; firstname.lastname@example.org (Aaron Back contributed to this article.) (END) Dow Jones NewswiresJuly 20, 2010 03:38 ET (07:38 GMT)