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  • iPhone Total Sales at China's Only Apple Store: 11


    The iPhone officially launched in China over the weekend, after years of grey-market availability through unlocked iPhones streaming in from Hong Kong. Although the main sales channel is service provider China Unicom Ltd., one indication of the lukewarm reception can be seen in the sales numbers at Apple's only retail outlet in Beijing: ten on Saturday, and grand total of one on Sunday.

    The Wall Street Journal captured the gloomy mood in its story today:

    Hundreds of people braved cold and rain to attend a Friday night party thrown by China Unicom Ltd., the state-owned carrier selling the iPhone, at a Beijing shopping center. Still, the crowd seemed subdued compared with the thousands who turned up at stores when the iPhone was introduced in markets such as the U.S. and Japan, where it quickly sold out in many locations. As of Sunday night, stores around Beijing still had the iPhone in stock.
    The main reason for the lackluster sales is almost certainly the high price: without a service contract, a Chinese user will have to pay ¥4,999 ($732) for the 8-gigabyte iPhone 3G, ¥5,880 ($861) for a 16-gigabyte 3GS and ¥6,999 ($1,025) for a 32-gigabyte 3GS. China Unicom offers 8 different 3G service packages, ranging from ¥126 ($18) a month to ¥886 ($130) a month.

    So if you buy a 32 GB iPhone 3GS and get Unicom’s top of the line data plan,you'll end up dropping ¥21,000 ($3,076) over two years for phone and service. By comparison, buying the same model in the US with AT&T’s most expensive plan will cost about $2,600 over two years.

    If you buy phone and service from China Unicom, though, they subsidize your bill. And it's important to remember that Chinese users generally do pay-as-you-go with phone cards rather than service contracts. So if you take into account two years of the service packages with subsidies that come with that China Unicom iPhone users can see from 10% to 27% of savings even compared to grey-market iPhones because of the cost of pay-as-you-go monthly service (the amount of the discount, of course, is going to depend on the model iPhone and the kind of service package you buy).

    However, the combination of the higher upfront cost and the lack of WiFi - which will force users to get all of their data over 3G - will be a significant hurdle for Unicom to overcome in the months to come. I'd expect further giveaways and price drops as they struggle to make inroads on a grey market that's already 2 illion strong by some accounts.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: iPhone Total Sales at China's Only Apple Store: 11 started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 36 Comments
    1. trevorrawson's Avatar
      trevorrawson -
      Damn those Chinese have some money...
    1. mikerlx's Avatar
      mikerlx -
      ^ true
    1. xxpwnxx's Avatar
      xxpwnxx -
      them and their millions of dongs....
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      Damn those Chinese have some money...
      Uh, actually they don't have money, which is why the phone isn't selling.
    1. Chefanim's Avatar
      Chefanim -
      Quote Originally Posted by xxpwnxx View Post
      them and their millions of dongs....
      Dongs?
    1. Sadhunni's Avatar
      Sadhunni -
      If you didnt know, China loves jailbroken iphone and thats why the non jailbroken iphone isnt selling in China. My friend who went china in June 2009, people asked her about jailbroken phone from US and see if it can be used in China which she wont know. Chinese people in China knows jailbroken phones are a lot cheaper in US and not in China.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      Damn those Chinese have some money...
      Did you read the article? They sold 11 iPhones in one weekend...in a country with 1.3 billion people. I read an article that the cost of one phone is more than what the average worker earns in one year. Let alone the ridiculous monthly fees. Which is why the black market iPhones are doing so well over there.
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      Quote Originally Posted by trevorrawson View Post
      Damn those Chinese have some money...
      If they have money its because we send all of our industry overseas..
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I can understand why people aren't exactly lining up to buy a $3,000 phone. Sheesh. They sell phones like that here but they have precious jewels embedded in them and are made from rhino horn and the ashes of dead presidents.
    1. hollow0's Avatar
      hollow0 -
      iPhone in China = FAIL lol. They're going to have to drop their prices a whole lot more for them to sell. The pay as you go option is a great choice for them and that contract with the high bills ain't gonna cut it with them. That's a whole other world out there!
    1. zoti's Avatar
      zoti -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chefanim View Post
      Dongs?
      I think he meant "Dogs" LOL
    1. Blowfish64's Avatar
      Blowfish64 -
      Maybe they're not buying locked iPhones because they're tired of communism, and Comrade Jobs just ain't looking too good to them.
    1. clikzip's Avatar
      clikzip -
      Quote Originally Posted by hollow0 View Post
      iPhone in China = FAIL lol. They're going to have to drop their prices a whole lot more for them to sell. The pay as you go option is a great choice for them and that contract with the high bills ain't gonna cut it with them. That's a whole other world out there!
      The phone isnt 3k, on a 2 year plan. Service+phone = $3k. I pay almost $100 a month with at&t and paid $200 for my phone. Thats $2600 over the same period
    1. dooter's Avatar
      dooter -
      At&t is getting rich off my family 3 iphones apple sure isn't going to get rich in china
    1. Fallguy's Avatar
      Fallguy -
      Quote Originally Posted by adp View Post
      Did you read the article? They sold 11 iPhones in one weekend...in a country with 1.3 billion people. I read an article that the cost of one phone is more than what the average worker earns in one year. Let alone the ridiculous monthly fees. Which is why the black market iPhones are doing so well over there.
      The key word is AVERAGE , not to say their are no wealthier people in China that this didnt appeal to . Now if the problem was nobody was interested because there is no WiFi on the phone , I would wonder what kind of 3G coverage they have there to justify that move by apple.
    1. billchase2's Avatar
      billchase2 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sadhunni View Post
      If you didnt know, China loves jailbroken iphone and thats why the non jailbroken iphone isnt selling in China. My friend who went china in June 2009, people asked her about jailbroken phone from US and see if it can be used in China which she wont know. Chinese people in China knows jailbroken phones are a lot cheaper in US and not in China.
      This appears to be true. I actually sold my old 2G to someone who was visiting the area from China and purchased mine to take back and use there.
    1. aekhamsouk's Avatar
      aekhamsouk -
      Quote Originally Posted by exNavy View Post
      Uh, actually they don't have money, which is why the phone isn't selling.
      ever heard of sarcasm? you idiots...
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Fallguy View Post
      The key word is AVERAGE , not to say their are no wealthier people in China that this didnt appeal to . Now if the problem was nobody was interested because there is no WiFi on the phone , I would wonder what kind of 3G coverage they have there to justify that move by apple.
      Well, Apple attempts to sell their phones to the vast majority of the population, correct? Otherwise, Apple would place their stores exclusively in the cities with the highest income per capita, and not include the rest of the urban population.

      Yes, there's definitely people who earn more than $3K/ year in China, but what's that percentage? You can't compare a $40K/year average in the U.S. versus $3K in China. And the AVERAGE user can afford the iPhone here - probably not in China.

      Quote Originally Posted by aekhamsouk View Post
      ever heard of sarcasm? you idiots...
      He wasn't being sarcastic. Read reply above. I guess I'll return you the insult.
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      At that rate, it'll only take them 623 years to sell the 5,000,000 iPhones they bought from Apple.
    1. adp's Avatar
      adp -
      Quote Originally Posted by €hR!$ View Post
      At that rate, it'll only take them 623 years to sell the 5,000,000 iPhones they bought from Apple.
      And by that time the iPhone will be a 1 nano-meter chip genetically mutated in every human's brain. And Apple will still make ridiculous profits