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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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19,363


The Associated Press reports on today's launch of the iPhone in China, noting several hurdles faced by the Apple as it attempts to tap into the world's largest market.

Among those hurdles is a lack of Wi-Fi functionality, a restriction that had been imposed by the Chinese government. The restriction was lifted earlier this year, but not until after the Chinese-specific iPhone lacking Wi-Fi had gone into production.
Unicom's iPhones lack WiFi because it was temporarily banned by Beijing, which was promoting a rival Chinese system, according to BDA. The ban was relaxed in May after manufacturing had begun.

A Unicom spokesman, Yi Difei, said the company hopes to have WiFi in the next batch of phones.

"We are talking with Apple and expect the problem to be solved by the end of this year," Yi said.
The lack of Wi-Fi connectivity also puts the spotlight on the new Chinese iPhone's relatively high price, which may result in the new device competing directly against unlocked iPhone 3GS models with Wi-Fi that have been brought in from other countries. An estimated 1.5 million to 2 million such iPhones are already operating on partner carrier China Unicom's network, and new unlocked imports are currently selling on the street for 20% less than the Chinese model when purchased without a contract.
Apple Inc. and Unicom also could face competition from an unusual source: unlocked iPhones brought in from abroad that have WiFi.

There are already an estimated 1.5 million to 2 million such phones in China using China Mobile 3G service that allows Internet access and other features.

Unicom's prices range from 4,999 yuan ($730) to 6,999 yuan ($1,025) for the high-end, 32-gigabyte iPhone 3GS. That is 20 percent above the 5,700 yuan ($835) charged by merchants at Chinese street markets for a 3GS with WiFi.
Apple has so far refrained from offering public sales targets for the Chinese market. An early report claimed that China Unicom had committed to purchasing 5 million iPhones for sale on its network, although the rumor was quickly denied by a spokesman for the carrier.

Article Link: iPhone Launches Today in China
 

*LTD*

macrumors G4
Feb 5, 2009
10,703
1
Canada
And Chinese government control of the more "subversive" aspects of the iPhone in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . .
 

IlluminatedSage

macrumors 68000
Aug 1, 2000
1,514
228
i would have thought the pricing would be cheaper in China for Chinese consumers. ie a more stripped down iphone with no wifi = Cheaper.

hell they are made in china, less transport costs as well and no currency exchange as well.
 

joemama

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2003
366
3
What a terrible start to what could have been a fantastic launch.

First, there is no Wi-fi. Then the government allows it, which makes the iPhone already out of date, so people will hold off on buying one until the next version.

Second, there are iPhones on the street already that have WiFi and cost less.

People aren't stupid, no matter where they live.

I hope Apple does sell a bunch, but it doesn't look like they will.
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,851
1
First, there is no Wi-fi.

Yeah seriously; in this day and age? Hope China Unicom doesn't have extra low data caps for extra hungry data users. Jobs needs to use better persuasion techniques; though I understand the chinese can be a bit...difficult to work with a times.
 

Full of Win

macrumors 68030
Nov 22, 2007
2,615
1
Ask Apple
Yeah seriously; in this day and age? Hope China Unicom doesn't have extra low data caps for extra hungry data users. Jobs needs to use better persuasion techniques; though I understand the chinese can be a bit...difficult to work with a times.

You do know this is from the Government, since they see it as an outlet they cannot control.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,614
2,018
What if WiFi is re-enabled with a firmware update?
;)

I apologize if you're joking, if not - you're an idiot.

You can't re-enable HARDWARE that isn't there. Just like how my 2001 Toyota can't get "HD Radio" through a software update; you need a physical HD Radio for that.
 

VenusianSky

macrumors 65816
Aug 28, 2008
1,290
47
A Communist iPhone. Maybe they will become a collector's item. Unicom should market that.
 

joelypolly

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2003
499
191
Bay Area
Its all about Tax

The prices is probably to do with VAT in China. I believe it is around 17.5% for electronic goods or at least it was when I purchased my camera lens. There is also a Sales Tax(Receipt Tax) depending on the state you are in. In Shanghai it is around 3 to 4 % depending on the retailer and the type of receipt they provide.

So 20% increase doesn't seem so bad when you put that in perspective. Imported grey market iPhones don't need to pay VAT or Sales tax which is why they can be cheaper than the Chinese models.
 

BJB Productions

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2008
1,314
136
What a terrible start to what could have been a fantastic launch.

First, there is no Wi-fi. Then the government allows it, which makes the iPhone already out of date, so people will hold off on buying one until the next version.

Second, there are iPhones on the street already that have WiFi and cost less.

People aren't stupid, no matter where they live.

I hope Apple does sell a bunch, but it doesn't look like they will.

Silly Chinese government.. :p
 

Ericatomars

macrumors regular
Aug 1, 2008
201
0
Chicago IL
The cell phones in China are like light years a head of iphone... And maybe Apple will see that people don't wanna be tied down by contracts with sucky service... If I have a great working iphone without a contract then why would I want to go to on a contract being tied down and no WiFi.. AND MORE MONEY?? Yeah.. No thank you... :apple:
 
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