China Unicom Offering Free iPhone 4S On Contract

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
46,728
8,946





Earlier this week, Apple announced that it would be launching the iPhone 4S in 22 new countries on January 13, with China being the highest-profile debut in the group.

Bloomberg now reports that China Unicom, Apple's existing iPhone carrier partner in the country, has released details on pricing that include a free iPhone 4S for users subscribing to contracts coming in at as little as $45 per month.
China United Network Communications Group (CHTZ), the nation's second-largest wireless carrier, will give users an Apple Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 4S if they sign multiyear service contracts costing as little as 286 yuan ($45) a month.

The promotion starting Jan. 13 offers a 32-gigabyte model with a three-year plan, while a commitment to two years for a monthly fee of 386 yuan allows users to get the 16-gigabyte model, the company known as China Unicom said in a statement on its website yesterday.
Beyond the contract price levels required for a free iPhone 4S, China Unicom offers a complex series of service plans and term lengths that carry varying levels of subsidy for the iPhone 4S. Contracts are available in terms ranging from 1-3 years and begin at 66 yuan ($10) per month, with longer and more expensive contracts obviously carrying higher subsidies and thus lower device costs for consumers.

Full details on the China Unicom's contract options are available in Chinese in the company's press release.

Bloomberg notes that China Unicom previously offered similar pricing for the iPhone 4, but ended the practice due to the high subsidies cutting too much into the carrier's profitability. The carrier is continuing its efforts to rein in subsidies as it works to boost its smartphone customer base, but seems willing to make an exception for the iPhone 4S in hopes of winning away customers from other carriers.

Article Link: China Unicom Offering Free iPhone 4S On Contract
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
107
Yardley, PA
That's weird. Interesting move for the carrier though as Apple still gets every penny for the phone.

Makes you wonder why one of our carriers in the US doesn't have the balls to do this, until you realize that here, the iPhone sells itself. I guess it's literally a different world over there with tech. Maybe they need marketing strategies beyond Apple's brand name and whatnot to sell these phones over Nokia's and the like. Even further, maybe the Chinese don't care as much about status symbols and what's popular.

More importantly, who else read it was China Unicorn? Should I be ashamed?

 
Last edited:

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
Also comes with a free bug so CPC can make sure you are not saying anything subversive like "I wish China was a open and democratic society."
 

KnightWRX

macrumors Pentium
Jan 28, 2009
15,046
4
Quebec, Canada
That's weird. Interesting move for the carrier though as Apple still gets every penny for the phone.
They do ? Because listening to people here, BOGO Android means less profit for the manufacturer. :rolleyes:

Anyway, good for the chinese people, they get to save 200$ on a 2500$ contract (depending on their contract term and service pricing).

----------

The only reason Android got ahead was because they were given away for free!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :rolleyes:
BOGO! Android is being given away BOGO. ;)

The UK already had the free iPhone (not BOGO, free on contract, just 1 phone, not 2).
 

soco

macrumors 68030
Dec 14, 2009
2,837
107
Yardley, PA
They do ? Because listening to people here, BOGO Android means less profit for the manufacturer. :rolleyes:
Eh? I thought the carriers buy the devices from the manufacturer at 100% cost and make up that money with any subsidy or contract charges.
 

xyfeng

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2012
1
0
NYC
If you read the detail on that page, you will notice, you have to pre-pay more than $900 into your account for that two year contracts.
 

emanu1212

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2012
1
0
In Italy many carriers give iPhone 4S for free with a two-year contract (monthly costs vary from 40 to 90 euros, 50-100$) or even on prepaid if you subscribe for automatic top-up with credit card.
 

Shrink

macrumors G3
Feb 26, 2011
8,931
1,598
New England, USA
If you read the detail on that page, you will notice, you have to pre-pay more than $900 into your account for that two year contracts.
It's a lot up front. But considering I'm paying $75/month for minutes and data ($1800 over two years) PLUS $200 for the phone. They're paying $1080 for two year contract AND the phone included.

Still sounds like a pretty good deal to me.:D
 

Chupa Chupa

macrumors G5
Jul 16, 2002
14,834
7,369
It's a lot up front. But considering I'm paying $75/month for minutes and data ($1800 over two years) PLUS $200 for the phone. They're paying $1080 for two year contract AND the phone included.

Still sounds like a pretty good deal to me.:D
Nope. Living in the U.S is the much better bargain. Just ask any member of Falun Gong.
 

aaarrrgggh

macrumors regular
Jul 1, 2007
156
24
Pretty smart move. They are in a position where they can afford to do it to gain share-- and if the user is pre-paying anyway...
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
That's weird. Interesting move for the carrier though as Apple still gets every penny for the phone.

Makes you wonder why one of our carriers in the US doesn't have the balls to do this, until you realize that here, the iPhone sells itself. I guess it's literally a different world over there with tech. Maybe they need marketing strategies beyond Apple's brand name and whatnot to sell these phones over Nokia's and the like. Even further, maybe the Chinese don't care as much about status symbols and what's popular.

More importantly, who else read it was China Unicorn? Should I be ashamed?

Image
I keep reading it that way at first glance as well.

Reminds me of the Pegatron/Transformer tangle. ;)
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,291
14

uknowimright

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2011
810
390
so by general macrumors standard the iphone 4s is now a cheap POS since it's free on contract?