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  • Apple sells 5 Million iPhones to China Unicom, Hitting market in September?

    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
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple sells 5 Million iPhones to China Unicom, Hitting market in September? started by sayam View original post
    Comments 36 Comments
    1. eremeya's Avatar
      eremeya -
      Just to clear some things up:
      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).
      (if you want a real iPhone here your are going to pay about a 10% premium).

      After living here in China for about a year and looking into iPhone stuff here I have not seen any Apple iPhones for sale at that price. There are plenty of cheap knock-offs for about that price but no real iPhones.

      Also here in China "iPhone" is a registered trademark of a local cell-phone manufacture and is on many different models of phones.

      China might have some phones that are "more advanced" then the iPhone but not across the board. Even with that though, the iPhone is very popular here and I see many people with them or the cheap knock-offs walking around.

      I should have said: You're going to pay about a 10% premium over the US non-subsidized price.
    1. screamankit's Avatar
      screamankit -
      Hey Sayam any idea as to when the iphone 3GS will launch in India...as there is no announcement yet...wherein last year the 3G was announced on the 6th of August and was put on sale on the 22nd of August...Do you know any place in Mumbai where I can get the iphone 3GS through grey market.
    1. Ad1tya's Avatar
      Ad1tya -
      ^^ Its available @ Heera Panna but for a stupid price of Rs.40000 (800$) for a Locked Piece (Soft Unlocked obviously) and Rs.50000 (1000$) for a 32GB.

      Ofcourse, you can haggle and get it down to 36k for 16GB and 45k for the 32GB.

      I just ordered mine from eBay Australia, because the iPhone 3GS is coming to India only mid/end of September. Heard this from the manager for a local iStore. Its because Apple has a shortage of stock (understandable) so their ignoring India for now (unbelievable )
    1. screamankit's Avatar
      screamankit -
      wth...this is insane...if it is launched in Sept end or start of Oct this means there is only a period of 9-10 months for the Jun 2010 ver ...Really bad organizational skills and production power(especially when you are producing in China with all that manpower) Apple on top of that you are even jeopardizing your brand name by sidetracking countries that are supposed to get the iphone in Aug as per the schedule date mentioned at WWDC just to meet the shortage where it has already been launched
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      Sales in India have been really poor so they are concentrating on markets that actually want the iPhone...
    1. screamankit's Avatar
      screamankit -
      whatever the case i just dont feel its professional on Apple's part to mention Aug as the launching month in the presentation at WWDC and then not launch as per schedule.
    1. A_DuB187's Avatar
      A_DuB187 -
      Quote Originally Posted by screamankit View Post
      whatever the case i just dont feel its professional on Apple's part to mention Aug as the launching month in the presentation at WWDC and then not launch as per schedule.
      Yes but sadly it's all about the money and Apple's going to put the pieces where they'll sale first.
    1. screamankit's Avatar
      screamankit -
      and thats when the brand reputation goes down...the reason...money...well lets be positive and see what happens as we still have 17 days to go in Aug...fingers crossed.
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      I have a strong suspicion that the iphone is not going to do well in a "white" market, in china. Why would it? They can get "grey" market phones that actually have wifi for almost the same price. I sense epic fail.
    1. pewpewouch's Avatar
      pewpewouch -
      As to why there's no wifi function for the iPhone in China, I guess they're trying to force iPhone users to use their 3G network for web and other internet activities. Starting early this year, China Unicom started a campagin to promote their new 3G network. It has nothing to do with the wifi standard, which is the same as everywhere else in the world.

      Fail or not, it all depends on the market price of the iPhone and the rate of 3G network. The coverage of the 3G network is very decent. If the rate could come down a bit, there should be plenty market for the iPhone in China.

      Edit: I did a quick search. It appears that the market price for the iPhone will be around CNY2000(about USD300) with a 2 years plan, which is not bad compared to the CNY5000(almost USD700) price you'll have to pay in the grey market.
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      The reason it has no widi is because the 802.xx standards used in the rest of the world are not approved in China.
      There is no point in buying an iPhone with WiFi because there is no Wifi for it it connect to!
    1. xZinnX's Avatar
      xZinnX -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      No. WCDMA is UMTS which is what the iPhone (and the rest of the world) uses. What you Americans call CDMA is CDMA-2000
      Thank you for the clarification.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      yeahhhh good luck with that China
    1. cybustervin's Avatar
      cybustervin -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      The reason it has no widi is because the 802.xx standards used in the rest of the world are not approved in China.
      There is no point in buying an iPhone with WiFi because there is no Wifi for it it connect to!
      But my iphone wifi works when I was in Shanghai a couple months ago
    1. confucious's Avatar
      confucious -
      It certainly shouldn't have done!
      I'm sure there are some illegal WiFi networks there but that doesn't make it the norm or anything thr chinese government would sanction.
    1. angiepangie's Avatar
      angiepangie -
      Quote Originally Posted by confucious View Post
      No. WCDMA is UMTS which is what the iPhone (and the rest of the world) uses. What you Americans call CDMA is CDMA-2000
      I love how you refer to us as "you Americans"
      better than yanks at least ^_^