Vice President of China Unicom, Li Gang, told reporters that his company has completely sold through their first shipment of iPhone 4s. The shipment, which totaled 100,000 units, took just four days to sell out. The Chinese mobile operator also reported that over 200,000 customers have pre-ordered the device; the company has since stopped taking online reservations due to the demand. When the iPhone 3G and 3GS launched, it took one month for China Unicom to sell 100,000 devices. Analyst Liu Liang credited a record number of Chinese mobile users adopting smartphones, as well as positive media attention around the iPhone 4, as possible reasons for the strong sales numbers. China Unicom is expected to get their next shipment of iPhone 4s around October 1. More →
Yesterday, Apple announced that its iPhone 4 smartphone would be available for purchase in China beginning on September 25 at 8:00 AM. The device will retail for CNY4,999 (~ $745) for a 16 GB model and CNY5,999 (~$894) for a 32 GB model. Apple also noted that China Unicom will also be selling the device and could provide subsidies with a new 2-year contract. More →
The report from earlier this week that China Unicom purchased five million handsets from Cupertino may be false. China Unicom spokesperson Yi Difei is quoted as saying that China Unicom and Apple are still in negotiations and the International Business Times-sourced report about a $1.5 billion order is not true. Tiffany Yang, an Apple spokesperson in Beijing, also re-iterated that there is no new information about an iPhone agreement with China Unicom. We concede that these official responses may be feeble attempts to defuse a rumor that has spread like wildfire but until official word comes out, we can assume that Apple does not have an additional $1.5 billion in its coffers. The mother lode of iPhones thought to be en route to China has apparently been stalled and that rumored September launch is still just that… A rumor. Sorry, Chinese Apple fans.
[Via Unwired View]
After what can only be described as a long and grueling courting period, Apple and China Unicom finally managed to strike a deal recently. For those who missed the news, the Chinese carrier has convinced Apple to issue a tweaked version of its popular handset with Wi-Fi disabled. How did China Unicom manage to convince Apple to build a special iPhone just for China? Well, the same way any company convinces Apple to do anything — a whole lot of cash. The International Business Times is reporting that China Unicom has purchased a whopping 5 million iPhone 3GS units in a preliminary order as the carrier prepares to launch the device next month. The order, totaling ¥10 billion ($1.46 billion USD), will put China Unicom’s launch inventory at nearly the same number of handsets Apple sold worldwide last quarter. In other words, the carrier is anticipating huge sales come September and wants to ensure its inventory is up to the task. According to China Unicom’s GM of Customer Development Yu Zaonan, Apple’s handset will be priced at ¥2,400 ($352 USD) for the 16GB model and ¥4,800 ($704 USD) for the 32GB model.