When will Apple bring iPhone 3G to China and Russia?

“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.]


  1. Nothing new in that article. China has not announced which carrier is getting what 3G standard, yet, beyond its homegrown TD-SCMA standard. So, it’s going to take some more time, as they just announced a 5 carriers into 3 reorganization just last month.

  2. Not only is the Russian market fragmented, the quality of coverage is appalling. I live in Moscow (though I’m not there at the moment). Every time I try to phone home (from New Zealand) it’s a gamble whether I can even reach the country, let alone the specific phones I need.

    Do Americans generally know that the Russian land-line network still runs a pulse-dial system? Damned inconvenient when I try to send a fax from my Mac.

    And making an overseas call in Russia from land-line or mobile, is often a nightmare. No “011” (America), “0011” (Australia) or “00” (most other countries) for Russia. Instead, it’s more-complicated and uncertain.

    My daughters are well aware of iPhone and are already nagging for their own. New Zealand, up to $6000. Russia, cracked. So not yet!

  3. 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

    It’s called LEVERAGE vs AT&T;and the other monopolistic overcharging telecoms!!

    I love my $30 Moto flip phone and less than $15 a month phone bill.

    My MacBook Pro handles everything else and more than the dumbed down iPhone.

  4. I know this might sound strange and off topic, but the Democrats control 2/3 of the power in the US for quite some time now, but we still have super high gas prices that’s destroying our economy.

    Wouldn’t it make sense to get the oil price down so people don’t freeze to death or go bankrupt first?

    Even if we utilize all wind, solar and natural gas (opps we have to drill for that!!) it would only compensate for 38% of present fossil fuel needs of our country. (to drop much lower as the population increases by the time all alternatives are in full force)

    So what other source could we use? Nuclear? opps the Democrats are opposed to that too! Clean Coal? Nope they are opposed to that. Fusion? Not ready, will be too dangerous.

    Perhaps the hot air from AL Gores ass?

  5. Olympic games will satrt soon… and many people will be abble to by their iPhone right at the spot!
    50’000’000 chips bought by Apple. Less then 2’000’000 sold in USA and Europe. This makes still a loooooooots of iPhones to be built for “special occasions”!!!!!

    see other topic:

    I think Apple will make terrifying sales in China and start to sell tons of iPhones!


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