Mobile phones allowing free analog TV viewing are on sale in Fuzhou stores, but have not proved popular. The devices have larger than average screens and longer standby times - in one case a 2.8 inch screen and enough battery life for 200 standby hours. The most notable difference between these and other handsets is a retractable aerial, several tens of centimeters long when extended, used for receiving analog TV signals. These phones have only appeared on the market in Fuzhou in the last couple of months.
According to reports from locals, reception on the devices is patchy and clarity of images is often poor. Despite costing only around RMB 1,600, the phones have not proved popular, with some brands being taken off the shelves after selling only a few units a month.
LENS: This news, should it prove to be more than an isolated incident, would be a blow to Telegent, the developer of an analog mobile TV chipset that was officially launched in China in August (see Telegent Launches Mobile TV Chip, MW 8/20/07 issue). Currently, there are some lesser-known mobile phone brands installed with the chip that are priced as low as RMB 1,000. However, if the television function does not work well, this price is high compared with the RMB 300-400 price tag on other ultra-low-cost handsets now in the market.