A recent report by International Business Times claims that China Unicom has made a mass purchase for WCDMA iPhone models from Apple, needless to say it's without Wi-Fi! The deal was for 5 Million iPhones in exchange of around 10 Billion Yuans (almost $1.46 BILLION), making a profit of 1,000 ($146 approx.) to 1,100 Yuan ($160 approx.) for each piece sold!
The report also claims that these phones will be hitting the Chinese shore in about a month, that is, September! Unlike AT&T in US, China Unicom won't be sharing any of their profits with Apple, which indicates the absence of subsidization options for China or maybe a harsh deal from China Unicom that Apple agreed on - whatever but it's not in Apple's favor. If the China Unicom iPhone isn't subsided then they might have trouble selling it since the iPhone already sells on the Chinese grey market for a mere 400 yuan ($59) to 1,000 yuan ($146).
Surely this is a big opportunity for Apple to expand it's reach but will Chinese consumers embrace the iPhone? Personally, I believe Chinese and Indian markets are very similar. Indian sales have been a disaster for Apple given they didn't even sell a 100k pieces. Let's see how this goes.
via Apple Insider