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Business

Chinese makers offer Asia what Apple doesn't: Affordability

Cheaper handsets take off as iPhone X's price puts it beyond the reach of many

Sales staff show off Chinese and Taiwanese smartphones at a Jakarta shopping mall on Sept. 13.(Photo by Shinya Sawai)

BANGKOK On a recent Saturday morning, the MBK Center, a regional mecca for electronic gadgets in the heart of the Thai capital, was crowded with young technology buffs. Just days earlier, Apple had unveiled its iPhone X, but despite the worldwide buzz over the tech giant's latest smartphone, a starting price tag of $999 means the high-end handset will struggle to find a broad audience here -- or anywhere else in Southeast Asia.

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