China's Largest E-Commerce Store Has Sold Only Five iPhones

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    IDG News Service reports that a China Unicom store on, China's largest e-commerce site, has sold only five iPhones in the two weeks since it began offering the device's for sale. is similar to eBay in that it serves as an online auction site but also connects other sellers such as retailers and wholesalers with customers.
    The news follows reports of very meager sales of the iPhone in its initial launch weekend on China Unicom. Factors cited in the slow sales include competition from unlocked iPhones from other countries that, unlike the current Chinese versions, offer Wi-Fi connectivity, and a lack of widespread credit card usage, a necessity for App Store purchases.

    Article Link: China's Largest E-Commerce Store Has Sold Only Five iPhones
  2. macrumors 68030

    Apr 13, 2007
  3. macrumors 68000

    Jul 20, 2008
    according to schiller: that figure shows the amazing growth we are seeing when we compare those sales to last years numbers.

    according to steve: 5 is alot better than 0.
  4. macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Take note, people who want/claim that the iPhone is going to Verizon...

    This is what happens when you sell a very crippled phone, as what VZW would do (granted, VZW would probably not do something like kill WiFi). I also find it rather interesting that these people are part of that huge 500 million group of people using CDMA. Yet, unlocked/GSM phones are the big factor and possibly is outselling the crippled iPhone.

    Lots of interesting points to take from this one...

  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 10, 2008
    It's amazing that the phone is wildly overpriced in the same country that makes the phone. The government's forced stripping of certain functions doesn't help either.
  7. macrumors 6502

    Mar 13, 2008
    United Kingdom
    Why do they need iphones when they have so many looky likey?
  8. macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    It's an interesting chess game, isn't it? Apple wants to tap the huge number of potential sales in China, and the government wants to keep their control over data flow. Apple agrees to release a crippled iPhone, and next to no one buys it. Apple can say, "I told you so," which might pressure the Chinese government into relaxing its rules. Or China can simply say, "Too bad for you" and not change a thing.

    China has a burgeoning affluent consumer market, and China can't keep a lid on that forever. People like their toys, no matter what country they're from.
  9. macrumors 68020

    Dec 25, 2006
    I know lol, isn't it ironic?! That would piss me off so bad if I lived there lol!

    I think sales will go up a LOT when they get it with wifi this month sometime! I think people are waiting for that and know. I would be pissed at the Chinese government if I were Apple lol! :rolleyes:
  10. macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007
    The government has already changed its stance on this issue. There will be a WiFi enabled iPhone sold in China in the next few months and this is the reason it is not selling.
  11. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I'm curious how many of these crippled iPhones Apple actually manufactured and how much money was lost manufacturing all the unsold iPhones.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 29, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    The question is, can the unsold ones easily be repurposed to include wi-fi? If so, it might be a drop in the bucket. At minimum, it's very embarrassing for china.
  13. macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2007
    Apple & AT&T....

    Apple & AT&T take note!
    Prime example of how intentionally gimping features can kill sales.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    New London, NH
    Steve says, "New Headline needed."

    iPhone sales in China showing steady growth. Up 500% since mid November.
  15. macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
  16. macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2008
    Technically, 500% of zero is still zero.

    Sorry, the math nerd in me couldn't help it...
  17. macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    Wow, that really sucks for Apple. The largest market and only 5 phones, huge fail. Hopefully with the next version there they can turn it around.
  18. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    People who wants an iPhone have already bought it from the US and elsewhere.

    Estimated to be 1.5 million unlocked gray market iPhone in China already

    I see some people failing to comprehend that people already bought iPhones in China.
  19. macrumors 68020

    Feb 22, 2006
    this post, fail.
  20. macrumors 6502

    Nov 11, 2002
    Who cares, leaves more to distribute for the rest of us :p

    Seriously, didn't they do any market analysis ? I think there's much more going on than we know...
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Feb 14, 2009
    hardly. the iphone has always been gimped on features. didn't seem to bother north americans that much. its also a cultural difference of needs. the only people who buy the iphone now are generally ones with low standards in technology. this is why the iphone continues to fail in japan as well (who have much higher tech standards).

    not to mention the moronic price tag! and this is china. no one there gives a crap about the official app store.
  22. macrumors 65816


    Nov 26, 2008
    California, USA
    Good Point! The people that make the phone have to pay for an overpriced, stripped down version - wtf ? :eek:
    Slavery in the United States may have ended in 1860, but apparently it still goes on today in China.

    I'm sure there are probably a million iPhones being sold on the black market in China for every one store-bought iPhone in China.
  23. Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Q Division, Los Angeles
    Think how cool that makes those five people! :cool:

    But I'll bet this is little lower than the China Unicom sales projections.
  24. sjo
    macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2005
    and i see people failing to comprehend that people already not bought those iphones elsewhere. if 1.5m iphones were sold to china, then 1.5 less iphones were sold for the us (and rest of the world).

    what was expected, if you read any of the numerous rumors about iphone sales starting in china, was that this would wildly increase the total sales. now if the total sales already included the phones sold to china, then surprisingly enough making iphone available in china doesn't improve the sales at all.

    isn't the total sales the thing to watch? not the sales in china?
  25. macrumors 604


    Nov 26, 2007
    I imagine they left the internal design the same, just without the Wi-Fi hardware. So it would depend on how much disassembling is required to reach the spot where the Wi-Fi goes, right? IDK how the inside of my iPhone looks, I'm more interested in designing software than hardware, but it seems like it'd be more cost effective than scrapping them altogether. After that you just update the software to reenable Wi-Fi (or did they even modify the software to disable Wi-Fi and not show references to it?)

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