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  • China Unicom Offering Five Versions of the iPhone

    Image via BusinessWeek


    Only hours away from Apple's iPhone becoming available for preorder in China, we're learning more about Unciom's big plans for the device in the largest mobile community in the world.

    PC World is reporting this morning that five versions of the iPhone will initially be offered, each with a variety of service plan options when the operator officially takes the device to market in October.

    China Unicom initially said the iPhone 3G would be priced at around 5,000 yuan (US$732) when it goes on sale in October, but the operator didn't offer detailed pricing for the eight service plans that it will offer customers. On Tuesday, China Unicom offered more specifics of its pricing plans, saying it would begin taking preorders for the phones on Oct. 1, when it launches its commercial 3G service.
    Yesterday, I had expressed concern over the high price tag set for the iPhone in China and how it could potentially (if not likely) prevent the iPhone from becoming as ubiquitous in China as it has elsewhere in the world. But lucky for both Chinese consumers and the entire slate of developers and mobile marketers wishing to reach the masses in China through the iPhone, it now appears that a few less expensive iPhone options will also be available in China.

    With the cheapest contract, which costs 126 yuan per month, the 8GB iPhone 3G will set customers back 3,099 yuan, while the 16GB and 32GB versions of the iPhone 3GS will cost 3,999 yuan and 4,999 yuan, respectively. Customers willing to pay for the second-most expensive plan, which costs 586 yuan per month, can get an 8GB iPhone 3G for free, or pay 99 yuan for a 16GB iPhone 3GS or 999 yuan for a 32GB iPhone 3GS.
    Nonetheless, having an iPhone in China still won't be a completely inexpensive venture no matter which variation of the device and its corresponding plan are obtained.

    What else do we know about October's launch? According to PC World, the 16GB and 32GB versions of the iPhone 3G will have a color option, as both will be available in either black or white. The 8GB iPhone 3G, however, will only be available in black.

    It should be noted, though, that Chinese customers who opt for the priciest service plan with a two-year contract at 886 yuan per month, will get the iPhone device itself for free. But unlike the premiere data package for the iPhone in the US (which, obviously, includes unlimited calls and messages) even the most expensive service plan in China caps minutes at 3,000 per month.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: China Unicom Offering Five Versions of the iPhone started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. s4mb4's Avatar
      s4mb4 -
      cool. maybe the 3g s can be jailbroken again now that it is will be in the hands of a billion new users....
    1. mattharris85's Avatar
      mattharris85 -
      Quote Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post
      cool. maybe the 3g s can be jailbroken again now that it is will be in the hands of a billion new users....
      good point
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      Why can't the dev team do a factory unlock? It's seems tedius for every firmware update we need to look for an unlock update? Doubt apple will unlock anything in the US. China has a great deal.
    1. dagoat1979's Avatar
      dagoat1979 -
      Quote Originally Posted by s4mb4 View Post
      cool. maybe the 3g s can be jailbroken again now that it is will be in the hands of a billion new users....
      out of the 1.3 billion(approx) people in china, how many would be willing to buy an iphone. n out of the actual users, how many would be willing to jailbreak?
    1. cuty_kamu's Avatar
      cuty_kamu -
      i'm glad that i'm using 32gb 3gs factory unlocked version...
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Onward march Apple. This is going to push our community to a whole new level.
    1. s4mb4's Avatar
      s4mb4 -
      Quote Originally Posted by dagoat1979 View Post
      out of the 1.3 billion(approx) people in china, how many would be willing to buy an iphone. n out of the actual users, how many would be willing to jailbreak?
      its called sarcasm
    1. Ticko's Avatar
      Ticko -
      Quote Originally Posted by dagoat1979 View Post
      out of the 1.3 billion(approx) people in china, how many would be willing to buy an iphone. n out of the actual users, how many would be willing to jailbreak?
      actually i have been in the "jailbreaking" community since my nokia 3390. Back then it was all about unlocking the phone and adding in your own custom firmwares and it was a lot more simple to do but the majority of "Jailbreaks" came from Asian countries mainly china because they had a greater knowledge of phone firmware and more access to the phones. Now that they have gained access to the phones it might very well be possible for multiple new "dev-teams" to sprout up and begin finding new ways to jailbreak/unlock and not to mention the multitude of new cydia apps that will be programmed once jailbreaking hits this chinese community so this is good news for us too.
    1. kkiran's Avatar
      kkiran -
      I was like - 5 versions of the iPhone?! It is the different plans I believe.
    1. msb2010's Avatar
      msb2010 -
      Factory unlock : i absolutely agree with you this is the best choice. even if they ask for money i will pay.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      Yes, i think that the devteam should be able to do a permanent unlock. I know they already can jailbreak the 3GS, but why they will not release it is beyond me. I think they like playing cat and mouse with us as much as they do apple.



      EDIT: changed "factory unlock" to "permanent unlock" due to next post.
    1. SharpieBandit's Avatar
      SharpieBandit -
      Um just letting you guys know that the iPhone Dev Team, can't do a factory unlock. They could possibly somehow in the future do a permanent unlock, but it won't be a factory unlock because a factory unlock is unlocked from the factory.

      Just making that clear.
    1. JAG2621's Avatar
      JAG2621 -
      That is what i mean was a permanent unlock like a factory unlock. Will edit my prior post.

      Just making that clear.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      China market is really gonna rise Apple sale number.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by kkiran View Post
      I was like - 5 versions of the iPhone?! It is the different plans I believe.
      5 versions - same as elsewhere:
      1)8Gb Black
      2)16Gb Black
      3)16Gb White
      4)32Gb Black
      5)32Gb White
    1. operate's Avatar
      operate -
      does this mean we will be seeing a lot more jailbreak groups and have faster jailbreaks or simpler jailbreaking processes?
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Why don't we get five versions of the iPhone?
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Wow. So the cheapest plan is only $18.45 in USD?

      And then, on the second most expensive plan ($85.81 USD) gets you the 8GB 3G for free, 16GB 3GS for $14.50 USD, or the 32GB 3GS for $146.29? Looks like the 16GB 3GS is the sweet spot.
    1. jetfuel495's Avatar
      jetfuel495 -
      I'll bet the Chinese government will outlaw jailbreaking just like how pretty much everything on the internet is censored over there. They have their own version of Google, right?
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Quote Originally Posted by awesomeiPod View Post
      Why don't we get five versions of the iPhone?
      We do.