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Chinese state broadcaster CCTV attacks Apple, Samsung over 'substandard' smartphone cameras

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 August, 2015, 3:15pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

Chinese state media has criticised the performance of cameras in a number of top-selling foreign smartphones, including Apple's iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S5.

The Weekly Quality Report, an investigative programme on CCTV, said that the Zhejiang provincial consume association recently tested 10 smartphones sold in mainland China and found that at least eight failed to reach national standards for digital cameras – including devices made by Apple, Samsung, Nokia, Sony, Lenovo, Oppo, TCL and Nubia.

Domestic brands Xiaomi and Huawei were not mentioned in the report, despite leading the Chinese smartphone market in the second quarter of 2015. The two brands accounted for nearly one-third of all smartphones shipped during the three month period.

At present, no brand mentioned in the report has made a public statement on it.

CCTV said that of the eight models which failed to meet standards, defects were found in how the devices' cameras handled exposure, colour retention, and/or dynamic resolution.

The report said that the photo-taking performance of the handsets did not live up to promotional claims and urged consumers not to be fooled by advertising.

However, the report admitted that there is no compulsory standard for smartphone cameras, rather the devices were tested and appraised under national standards for digital and video cameras.

This is not the first time China's state broadcaster has gone after foreign smartphone brands.

In July, CCTV criticised Apple devices for using mobile data while on standby, potentially costing customers up to 60 yuan per month in phone internet bills.

In 2013, CCTV put the US phone maker on blast during an annual consumer rights show for allegedly charging users in China for replacing faulty iPhone covers, something the firm does for free in other markets.

That criticism backfired after a Chinese celebrity tweeted in support of the report with a message that said "to be published at 8:20pm", leading many to accuse CCTV of enlisting popular Weibo bloggers to join in its criticism of Apple.

Chinese firms have recently been targeting India's growing smartphone market as domestic demand slows amid increased saturation, particularly in the lower-price segment.

Smartphone shipments declined in China for the first time in six years during the first three months of this year, according to research firm IDC.

Cut-price domestic device maker Xiaomi regained its crown as China's top smartphone vendor with a 15.9 per cent market share, according to market analysts Canalys. Huawei came in a close second with 15.7 per cent of the market, with Apple in third.