Recently I conducted a survey of handsets of college students in Shenzhen and Guangzhou and found some interesting points to be shared with you.
Firstly, Brand Choice. All surveyed students use foreign brands. APPLE, HTC and Samsung are their favorites. Boys care more about technology and performance while girls care more about appearance, fashion, and photographing.
Secondly, Handset Affordability. Generally students have pretty good handset affordability. Students in Guangzhou are inclined to pay around RMB1500 while most in Shenzhen can afford over RMB3500
Thirdly, Replace Requirements. Nearly all students say they will replace their handsets every around two years. Some say they will do every three to four years. Over half of students put Samsung as their first choice of replacement because of strong brand, good hardware and fashion (many students like to watch Korean movies). Nearly one third of students lists xiaomi as their second best choice. It is interesting to find that all students from Shenzhen do not like Xiaomi while most from Guangzhou prefer it.
Fourthly, Xiaomi and Meizu. Xiaomi is popular with students mostly because of its high performance-to-price ratio. The attractiveness of MIUI has been declining because of wide choices of similar UI software. This confirms my prior judgment that UI cannot be a sustainable competitive advantage. However, Xiaomi has performed very successfully in marketing through internet. This may change my prior forecast of its future. Let's wait to see whether marketing could be its core competitive advantage. Meizu seems to target a different customer group who has graduated from colleges but has worked for no more than five years and has stronger affordability.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.