iPhone Ignites 'Love Craze' in China

Black market phones flooding country from Hong Kong
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2007 7:45 AM CST
The iPhone is seen in this June 29, 2007 file photo in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, file)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The iPhone is not sold in China yet, but already black market iPhones—known as "Ai Feng" or "Love Craze"—have flooded in from Hong Kong. Wired News reports computer superstore shelves are full, and supplies so plentiful the black market price is plummeting. "It's like the whole country has gone iPhone," says one Chinese netizen.

The iPhone love craze has not been deterred by the difficulty of using an iPhone properly when it hasn't been blessed for local cell networks. Most applications don't work, and text messaging in Chinese involves maneuvering that would infuriate US users. It's status that is driving sales. One Chinese blog entry reads: "More beautiful than a beautiful woman, iPhone I want you, quickly get on the market."