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  • China Unicom to Support Black Market iPhones?


    This week China Unicom starts selling the Apple iPhone legitimately in China. The new phones - reportedly priced at an astronomical 5,000 (about USD $700) each - will join an estimated 2 million black market iPhones in the People's Republic. According to reports, a China Unicom subsidiary has agreed to give service to all the black-market iPhone users, too.

    China Unicom is the smaller competitor to dominant China Mobile, which developed the Ophone mobile phone operating system that can support its homegrown TD-SCDMA 3G standard. China Mobile still claims Ophone devices will come out this year, but no release dates have yet been set. So China Unicom has a potentially narrow window to gain market share on China Mobile, which recently surpassed 500 million users.

    The black-market price of unlocked iPhones in China is generally around 3,000 (about $400), with Chinese copycats available for as little as 1,000. Since urban workers in China make about 30,000 a year on average, with workers in the big eastern cities being closer to 35,000, the price will keep the legit China Unicom iPhone out of reach for most, even with subsidies of about $100 each.

    China Unicom may sell as many as 3 million iPhones in China in the coming year, according to market research firm Piper Jaffray.

    image via Sina.com
    This article was originally published in forum thread: China Unicom to Support Black Market iPhones? started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 13 Comments
    1. CaptainChaos's Avatar
      CaptainChaos -
      Are the blackmarket phones knockoffs? What kind of quality are we talking here?
    1. Michelebabe1234's Avatar
      Michelebabe1234 -
      Aren't these the same knock off iPhones we see on Craigslist & Ebay? If so these things are garbage.
    1. mattylee's Avatar
      mattylee -
      umm china doesn't use yen.
    1. Paul Daniel Ash's Avatar
      Paul Daniel Ash -
      The symbol is also used for the Chinese currency yuan or renminbi. It's also abbreviated RMB which I find reads poorly, so I generally stick with the .

      You can get unlocked genuine iPhones - usually from Hong Kong - or copycats that are generally of poor quality, in all of the major cities.
    1. tudtran's Avatar
      tudtran -
      I rather pay $400 for the black market iphone. $700 is a rip off price for an iPhone. I would like to get one myself.
    1. chupacabra314's Avatar
      chupacabra314 -
      In Bulgaria you have to pay ~$600 for the phone and sign a 1-year contract with the exclusive provider
      The black market ones cost from $500 to $700....
      Strange thing is - most people prefer the first option....
    1. eremeya's Avatar
      eremeya -
      Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChaos View Post
      Are the blackmarket phones knockoffs? What kind of quality are we talking here?
      Quote Originally Posted by pauldanielash View Post
      The symbol is also used for the Chinese currency yuan or renminbi. It's also abbreviated RMB which I find reads poorly, so I generally stick with the .

      You can get unlocked genuine iPhones - usually from Hong Kong - or copycats that are generally of poor quality, in all of the major cities.
      Many of the unlocked iPhones are indeed from Hong Kong but there are also a large number from the US that have been jailbroken and unlocked or use a SIM proxy. The copycat "iPhones" are really only a copycat on the outside. The hardware and software are not clones of Apple's and are not even compatible with iTunes.

      I'll have to look into a cell plan from China Unicom next week although I don't think they'll be able to do any better then what I have now except for the 3G connectivity. I pay around $7.50 per month pre-paid with a 200mb data plan on an officially unlocked 3GS from Hong Kong. :P
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Makin money wherever they can ;-)
    1. M4tt Dam0n's Avatar
      M4tt Dam0n -
      What's an Ophone?
    1. jOnGarrett's Avatar
      jOnGarrett -
      wow, with prices that high for unlocked iphones I just might sell my 3G 8gig and use the funds to buy a 3GS 32gig.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      pppffftt.. commies
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      Quote Originally Posted by eremeya View Post
      Many of the unlocked iPhones are indeed from Hong Kong but there are also a large number from the US that have been jailbroken and unlocked or use a SIM proxy. The copycat "iPhones" are really only a copycat on the outside. The hardware and software are not clones of Apple's and are not even compatible with iTunes.

      I'll have to look into a cell plan from China Unicom next week although I don't think they'll be able to do any better then what I have now except for the 3G connectivity. I pay around $7.50 per month pre-paid with a 200mb data plan on an officially unlocked 3GS from Hong Kong. :P
      Damn that's dirt cheap! i envy you
    1. ummmwoah's Avatar
      ummmwoah -
      That really is dirt cheap. Would you mind telling me your service details and where you get it? I'm moving to China in December and would love a setup like that.