Most iPhones are made in China and China is one of the most gadget happy places in the world, which makes it seem unlikely that the iPhone would fail badly in China. But that's exactly what has happened. And Apple has found itself locked out of a booming cell phone market that may become the world's largest.

Part of the problem actually is that the iPhone is made in China, which makes it a hop and skip to the gray market knock offs that dominate the Chinese market. The Chinese knock offs dominate the market because they're featured packed and cheap. Chipods are valid iPod alternatives, so much so that I actually use them myself. While the term knock off suggests a bad product, the knock offs are functional and cheap, they're not ultra reliable and they're not as good as the real thing, but they are much cheaper.

And since the knock offs have often managed to make it to market before the original Apple products make it to China's technology market, the status symbol effect that comes from Apple products in the US and Europe is absent in China. While in America, Apple's toys are shiny magic boxes, in China they're overpriced and foreign imports that are nevertheless made by slave labor at home.