“Unauthorized sales of unlocked iPhones in Russia and China are flourishing, but Apple Inc. seems in no hurry to make deals with operators to sell the nifty device in these huge markets officially,” Maria Kiselyova and Sophie Taylor report for Reuters.
“Despite the iPhone being set for launch in 49 more countries including Honduras and Guinea-Bissau, China and Russia – home to almost half the world’s mobile users – are not on the list,” Kiselyova and Taylor report.
“Operators in those countries have proved reluctant to hand over part of their iPhone-related revenues to Apple – a model Apple succeeded in imposing in early deals it made with carriers in other countries, who got exclusive sales rights in return,” Kiselyova and Taylor report.
“Talks between Apple and China Mobile, the country’s top mobile operator, stalled for that reason. China Mobile says Apple has now dropped its insistence on revenue-sharing but still has no timetable for a launch,” Kiselyova and Taylor report.
“In China, as many as a million “cracked” iPhones may be in use on China Mobile’s network, In-Stat China analyst Kevin Li told Interfax this month. Some estimates indicate that 40 per cent of all unlocked iPhones are in China,” Kiselyova and Taylor report. “In Russia, monthly sales of cracked iPhones are estimated at about 20,000, says Murtazin.”
“In Russia and China the 3G devices are eagerly awaited despite the fact that buyers there cannot exploit many of the new advantages,” Kiselyova and Taylor report. “Russia issued licences for 3G last year and the service is so far available only in a few cities, while in China there is no usable 3G standard at all.”
“Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs has said the company will roll out the iPhone in Russia later this year, but analyst Eldar Murtazin at Mobile Research Group in Moscow expects it no earlier than February or March 2009. Apple has not even applied to certify the 3G phone in Russia, he says,” Kiselyova and Taylor report. “Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves says: ‘I would expect a deal in China probably in the next six months or so. Having a deal in Russia is probably a lot less likely because the market is so fragmented.'”
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Brawndo Drinker” for the heads up.]