When it comes to devices that are not meant to be sold outside of China, most OEMs merely need to ensure that the gadget’s user interface (if it has one) supports only one language: Chinese. That is not the case for Meizu though: the Chinese OEM was recently found demonstrating its M9 smartphone which featured an English version of its custom user interface.
When a Chinese OEM claims that its devices are only meant to be sold and used within the Chinese market, it usually means two things. Either the product has been designed in such a way that it will lose much of its functionality when operated outside the country’s boundaries, or it has a user interface which would resemble some kind of alien scribblings to anyone who is not a Chinese.
Fortunately for those who have been lusting after the high-quality knockoff of the Apple iPhone 4, the Meizu M9 appears to be that of the aforementioned second option which is the only barrier of getting one’s hands on an M9 from outside the Chinese market. And that barrier has been all but torn down by none other than Meizu themselves. Even though the OEM has repeatedly stated in the past that the M9 was not meant to be sold outside of China, a English version of the smartphone’s user interface had somehow managed to find its way to the final product, as shown in the images below.
Based on online reports, it appears that the UI update is the only change that Meizu has made to the M9, which means that the hardware specifications are unlikely to differ from those that are already listed on the handset’s wiki page.
Needless to say, the availability of a ‘global-friendly’ interface is sure to generate a good deal of interest in the M9, which has been touted as China’s iPhone killer due to its impressive specs, design and significantly lower price (it is guesstimated to be approximately US$325). However, it is rather unlikely that Meizu will ever release the M9 for a global launch, as that would be a surefire way to find itself on the receiving end of a Cease and Desist order from Apple.
That being said, there is nothing to stop potential customers from flying over to China and purchasing an M9 for their own personal use. And if that happens to be your plan, we hope that you got your plane tickets to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen or Guangzhou at the ready: the M9 will be officially released for sale at those cities this Christmas.