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China Unicom Reports Only 5,000 New iPhone Users Since Launch

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
51,014
12,553


Reuters reports that China Unicom has signed up only 5,000 iPhone users since the device's official launch there late last week. Despite the apparent poor performance of the iPhone, China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiobing remains upbeat about the iPhone, as well as the broader rollout of it 3G network, which has already signed up 1 million customers."We are satisified with iPhone sales so far, and we aim to have an additional 1 million new 3G subscribers each month in the near future," he said.Xiobing also told reporters that the iPhone would help boost China Unicom's revenue for the fourth quarter, although the company will see increased costs due to iPhone subsidies and advertising, leading to decreased profit margins.

Concerns over the lack of Wi-Fi functionality on the initial China-specific iPhone and relatively high prices compared with many other countries had been seen as a challenge for the company, with many users interested in the device likely instead opting for fully-functional unlocked iPhones imported from other countries.

Article Link: China Unicom Reports Only 5,000 New iPhone Users Since Launch
 
Last edited:

zombitronic

macrumors 65816
Feb 9, 2007
1,115
6
Lack of Wi-Fi killed it, especially with consumers there knowing that a Wi-Fi capable phone is coming soon. It's like trying to sell a car that only runs on bicycle pedals.
 
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Cinematographer

macrumors 6502a
Sep 12, 2005
900
4
far away
If you take into account that it took Apple over 200 days to sell 5 Mio iPhones in the US, these numbers look quite impressive.

Edit: My bad. They are talking about five thousand units. wtf?
 
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ipoppy

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2006
423
9
UK
Lack of Wi-Fi killed it, especially with consumers there knowing that a Wi-Fi capable phone is coming soon. It's like trying to sell a car that only runs on bicycle pedals.

Correct. It would kill iPhone without wifi even here in US/Europe where 3G is spread widely. Main factors for poor selling performance there are:
1. Lack of wifi
2. High price
3. Lack of 3G
4. Existence of iPhone clones in China
 
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Cask

Guest
Jul 14, 2008
243
0
Well......that's what happens when you launch a crippled product at a more expensive price.....especially in a market where everyone can find a imported full version of the product elsewhere. If I had got the same crippled version that these guys got I would surely be looking for an iPhone somewhere else.
 
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f00f

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2009
1,105
50
New Yawk
China has what, 1.4 billion people and only 5k have signed up for iPhone thus far? FAIL. Too much lead paint maybe?
 
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idiosyncratic i

macrumors newbie
Oct 7, 2007
26
0
"We are satisified with iPhone sales so far, and we aim to have an additional 1 million new 3G subscribers each month in the near future,"

He really expects sales to increase 20000% in the coming months? Based on what evidence?
 
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eastercat

macrumors 68040
Mar 3, 2008
3,323
7
PDX
At least Apple can write off this loss. Wish I could do that if I made a bad financial decision.
I'm curious to see their financial report, when it includes the Unicom phone sales (or lack thereof).
 
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Gravity

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2002
161
0
Chicago
What about counterfeits?

I gotta wonder how iPhone sales in China might have been tainted by two years of really bad counterfeit iPhones sold over there? People might see the iPhone and think they're getting more of the same crap that the counterfeiters have been selling?
 
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anubis

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2003
937
50
right because no blame can ever go to apple.

Yeah. That's right. It was Unicom's (and the Chinese Government's, if I'm not mistaken) insistence that the iPhone be crippled at launch. You think Apple wanted this?
 
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*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
right because no blame can ever go to apple.

Think about what you just said, where the iPhone is being sold (and in what condition), and what we enjoy on our iPhones in Europe and North America.

Apple only wanted $600 for the unit. They didn't ask for $1000. Apple didn't want to remove wifi. This is Unicom's doing. Negotiations took forever, and Unicom managed to almost completely pull the rug out from under the iPhone.

Only in China.
 
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phatcat

macrumors regular
Feb 10, 2008
193
0
Let's see:

1) Crippled Unicom iPhone or
2) Unlocked fully functional iPhone at 20% off

hmmmmmmm.

Apple still wins out as they're pumping more unlocked iPhones into Europe.
 
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Stately

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2008
768
0
NYC
It seems like no matter what, someone wants to cripple such a beautifully functioning device. Wether it be by overpricing and banning apps that shouldn't be managed by said carriers ahem . . AT & scrub lol or crippling the tech of the phone. It makes absolutely no sense. Either accept the phone or don't pick it up, why all these ridiculous stipulations?
 
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macshill

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2008
469
0
London, Ontario, Canada
"We are satisified with iPhone sales so far, and we aim to have an additional 1 million new 3G subscribers each month in the near future,"

He really expects sales to increase 20000% in the coming months? Based on what evidence?

Of course, it's Communist China! lol I wouldn't expect anything less.

It's like North Korea saying Dear Leader is the biggest pop singer of all time. You get the prop shoveled down your throat. Only difference is that the Chinese have access to the black market to know otherwise. ;)
 
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