China Unicom Has Sold 100,000 iPhones Since Launch

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Despite some paltry sales during the first weekend, China Unicom announced today that they have now sold more than 100,000 iPhones since the October 30th launch in China.

    These results indicate sales picked up since the opening weekend which only had 5000 in sales reported. Still, analysts report that the 100,000 figure remains disappointing given China Unicom's 144 million subscribers.

    High price, lack of Wi-Fi, and a strong gray market for iPhones in China seem to be contributing to the relatively low carrier sales.

    Article Link: China Unicom Has Sold 100,000 iPhones Since Launch
  2. macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    Considering the lack of wifi I don't think it's that bad...
  3. macrumors 65816


    Nov 26, 2008
    California, USA
    That's still 100,000. If you had to wait in line behind all of those people, that would be a LOOONG line. It's been on sale for what, about five weeks? You have to consider that of the 144 Million subscribers, figure 90% of those people couldn't even afford a smart phone and the corresponding monthly bill. I'm sure the basic flip phone market in China comprises 90+% of all subscribers due to cost limitations. So, let's consider the percentage of people that can afford a smart phone and its monthly bill - what percentage of those people is the 100,000 ?
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Sep 8, 2006
    Cottleville, MO
    Yeah that's what I think too. Though China is densly populated.
  5. macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    100,000 is what, less than 0.007% of China's population? I don't think it's significant.

    I highly doubt 90% of those 144 million subscribers couldn't afford an iPhone. Most likely they were waiting to see if the iPhone could offer something better than the millions of cheap knock-offs floating around. No point in paying more for something that offers less functionality.
  6. macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    But it is a significant proportion of those people who live in China who can afford to spend $700-$1000 on a phone.

    China isn't rich enough yet that most people can just afford to drop $700 to $1000 on a phone. Hell the GDP per capita of China is only $3250 per year.
  7. macrumors 68000


    Mar 9, 2009
    Aren't WiFi in mobile devices are banned in China? The N95 for the Chinese market lost it's WiFi capability.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2003
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    I read that as Unicron. It's early.
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2006
    I think that's pretty good, considering that you could bought the 3GS on the blackmarket since summer.
  10. macrumors regular

    Aug 24, 2009
    According to MacWorld, China has 700 million people on contract mobile phones ( The iPhone contract isn't *that* much of a step up compared to the average cost. And GDP is a very weak way to measure a country that has 'dangerous' levels of discrepancy between rich and poor because the results are so skewed (
  11. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  12. macrumors 68020


    Mar 11, 2009
  13. macrumors 603


    How many gray phones have taken up service contracts on China Unicom?
  14. macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Only in the US. The vast majority of contracts in China are going to be far cheaper than they are in the US as you can see in the following (source).


    So as you can see per user customers in the US spend 5x as much as they do in China.

    That's from 2001
  15. macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2007
    You have to consider that unofficially, full version iPhone sell for around $600 in the black market, which is everywhere.

    From what I know, most people in China can easily afford this phone...$1000 is medium price actually. APPLE knows this, and this is why they priced it that way.

    ppl who use GDP capita per person as a justification for low sales volume are retarded.
  16. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2009
    New Zealand
    Also a large amount of the economic activity is unreported and thus unrecorded - even more so in a large country like China. How many people out there have jobs but do some work on the side to earn some extra cash? I remember even in New Zealand at my last job there were people being paid under the table for their second job. If you average that $200 for 100,000 people moon lighting, in a year that is around $1billion not recorded - and that is being incredibly conservative.
  17. macrumors regular


    Sep 8, 2008
    in israel the lunch was yesterday(finally!=)... & ppl are not crazy because the prices so everyone here doing a excommunication until the prices will be normal :rolleyes: only suckers bought this yesterday :p
  18. macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2006
    Berlin, Germany
    What do you mean by average cost? Plans that interest you personally? The average China Unicom customer is spending $6 per month (the ARPU is 42 yuan according to company reports). The cheapest iPhone plan starts at $18, three times as much. Therefore, the total number of China Unicom customers is meaningsless, at least for the sales of the next 2-5 years.

    The total number of China Unicom's 3G subscribers was 335k in September (3 months after the launch of the service). Let's say it's 1 million now (tops) then the 100k official iPhones represent 10 % marketshare (or more), which is excellent.
  19. macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Out of shoppers who visit Plaza 66 in Shanghai that is probably true. Outside that - I doubt it.

    Noone I know in Britain would spend $1000 on a phone even over 12 months including contract.


    Undoubtably this happens, but its not enough to double or triple China's GDP or whatever to make it so that lots of people could afford to buy iPhones.
  20. macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2009
    as I mentioned early,

    Unicom also distributes those wifi-disabled phone gray market, and lowered down the price to compete with full-function iphone.

    Unicom iPhone has covered by warranty,where those gray market one does not.

    That might be why they can still put those wifi-disabled photo side by side with gray full function ones.
  21. macrumors 68000


    Feb 5, 2008
    Relative to Nokia it has.

    Mind you, that doesn't account for grey market iPhones. There'll be a lot more of these.
  22. macrumors member

    Sep 2, 2009
    Grey market phones are covered by warranty, just look up the serial before you buy.

    The problem with China is that Hong Kong is so easy to get to. You can easily buy a fully functioning iPhone without contract, fully unlocked and totally legit. Albeit more money but the people that can afford the iPhone monthly plans can afford the retail price of an iPhone.
  23. macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2007
    So they sold iPhones to 10% of Unicom's 3G customers in the first 6 weeks. That's pretty amazing since they've already announced that the next batch of iPhones will have WiFi. They got bit by the change in the WiFi law, but not nearly as badly as originally reported.
  24. macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    I see them bouncing back, yes.
  25. macrumors 603

    Mar 10, 2009
    The 3G customers are less than one percent (0.6%) of Unicom's customers. So the iPhone has 10% of 0.6%.

    After the article highlighting that one of the primary growth barriers here being cost you seriously think that lack of WiFi is the major impediment? Likewise Unicom's high speed 3G coverage map probably makes the ATT one relatively look flushed out.

    And it is amazing to snag extremely low double digits of less than 1% of a market?

    If this was the Pre, Andriod, WindowsMobile,Nokia .... or anyone else this thread would be chock full of commentary about how these kinds of numbers represented epic fail.

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