Branding is not merely about differentiating products; it is about striking emotional chords with consumers. It is about cultivating identity, attachment, and trust to inspire customer loyalty. Chinese brands score low on attributes such as 'sophisticated,' 'desirable,' 'innovative,' 'friendly,' and 'trustworthy.'
The problem with the mobile industry is that it deals with an intangible service which is largely similar across major players. Most consumers cannot tell the difference between Vodafone and Orange, or AT&T and Verizon in the U.S., beyond the colors and the logos. I suspect neither can the companies.