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  • "China's eBay" Has Sold Exactly 5 iPhones So Far

    The iPhone has been available in China through China Unicom for just under a month, but the sales results so far have been far short of what the carrier hoped and even some the more pessimistic pundits had predicted. In the latest bit of bad news for the effort to bring the black-market phone legit in China, the popular Chinese e-commerce site TaoBao - called the "eBay of China" - reports a grand total of five iPhones sold in the first two weeks of ints online store.

    China Unicom, the phone's carrier, only managed to sell 5,000 handsets in the phone's first few days, far less than at equivalent launches in the U.S., UK, France, and Germany. While the carrier says it is "satisfied" with the phone's sales performance, the numbers are disappointing for a phone that has enjoyed wide popularity worldwide.

    Even more disappointing is the news that Taobao.com - the leading e-commerce site in China and the only authorized iPhone sales outlet other than China Unicom - sold no more iPhones than you can count on one hand, according to IDG News Service. Since the phone launched on the site on November 22, only two 8 GB models were sold, three 16 GB models, and exactly no 32 GB models.

    One major problem is price. The phone is available in China for 6,999 - or about $1,024 US - without a contract, but can be purchased in Hong Kong for the equivalent of about $800. Sales were also hindered by the exclusion of WiFi from the phone, following the Chinese government's ban on the standard, which it was trying to replace with its homegrown. Since May China has rescinded the ban, but new Wi-Fi-ready models won't be available for months yet in China.

    In its report, IDG suggests that problems with the China-only version of the App Store may also be hurting China Unicom's sales.

    Credit cards are increasingly common in China, but their holders rarely use them to make small payments via mobile phone, local consultancy Analysys International said in a research note. Credit card penetration also remains low among young people of the sort that would like the App Store, it said. Many Chinese make payments via mobile phone but do so with prepaid cards sold by local carriers. The App Store will need to add new payment options and more localized content to win more users in China.
    China Unicom is optimistic, however. China's second largest carrier launched its 3G network last month and gained approximately 1 million new subscribers for the new service. They're hopeful that the iPhone and other 3G devices will allow them to continue to add a million new subscribers per month.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "China's eBay" Has Sold Exactly 5 iPhones So Far started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 23 Comments
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      haha lolz
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Dang! Those Chinese people should come to America for an iPhone.
    1. battlecrushr's Avatar
      battlecrushr -
      i think the no wifi has something to do with it
    1. hancoma's Avatar
      hancoma -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      Dang! Those Chinese people should come to America for an iPhone.
      Why would they come here when all of our jobs are going over there? LOL!!

      Maybe we need to get into the black market and sell them iphones!!! Not stolen ones of course, like the incident in Belgium.
    1. Bunniesandsheep's Avatar
      Bunniesandsheep -
      I hate how they're so expensive out of europe and the US. The 8GB 3g costs about 700 USD here in NZ.
    1. romeo_herman's Avatar
      romeo_herman -
    1. matthew1111's Avatar
      matthew1111 -
      So in China you can buy an iphone for 900+ dollars more than its worth and not get any wifi support for it? Tight deal...
    1. one1's Avatar
      one1 -
      You newborz need to know how damn fast cellular is in china. Wifi is useless for the most part with the networking exception. Over here it is for speed, over there it's slow compared to the cell system.
    1. ziggie216's Avatar
      ziggie216 -
      Hmm.. to buy a $700-$1K USD iPhone or buy a black market iPhone for damn cheap... Seems like fail business right there if the want to convince people to buy a legit phone
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
    1. se23's Avatar
      se23 -
      Ha ha shame, I just think the iPhone with it's limitations wouldnt satisfy them. I know the Chinese use a lot of different things than us and most peeps I know who have iPhone are still blown away by coverflow.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      well that sucks for china, maybe the price is at fault?
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      Haha. Come on nobody wanna but an iPhone for $1000.

      Apple may have a secret business plan that I don't know about, but so far it isn't working.
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      The problem is why would a Chinese consumer buy a cripled iPhone with no wifi from a carrier when they can get one with wifi on the black market?
    1. eaglesteve's Avatar
      eaglesteve -
      If iPhone is sold in Australia without wifi at that price, I doubt many people would buy it too. Just imagine the data download cost you need to pay each month, and such slow speed! It simply is'nt worth it, even by developed world's standard of affordability.
    1. cssoz's Avatar
      cssoz -
      Quote Originally Posted by southfrisco View Post
      The problem is why would a Chinese consumer buy a cripled iPhone with no wifi from a carrier when they can get one with wifi on the black market?
      so true!
    1. BlackG35's Avatar
      BlackG35 -
      Damn the Chinese are even worse than Apple.
    1. Nick Hesson's Avatar
      Nick Hesson -
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      is this any surprise?
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      no wifi = fail