China Unicom Considering Major Change to iPhone Sales
China's only WCDMA carrier is considering a major change in its iPhone sales strategy. If the scuttlebutt around the prominent Chinese carrier is accurate, China Unicom may soon move away from contract sales of the popular smartphone.
In the fall of 2010, China Unicom introduced two-year contract-bundles of the iPhone 4. If you do the math, you will quickly discover that these first-wave contracts will begin to expire in a matter of weeks. When they do, China Unicom may not offer an opportunity to extend them.
Digitimes reported Friday that China Unicom "has not substantially profited from sales of iPhone 4 and has incurred a heavy financial burden from subsidies." As a result, it isn't clear if the carrier will continue to dump huge reserves of cash into such a protracted commitment.
Higher-priority goals for the Chinese carrier reportedly include expanding the network infrastructure already in place to better serve the world's largest mobile community. Naturally, this sort of development could deliver a significant blow to Apple's emerging Asian market aspirations.