Hundreds of buyers line up in China as Apple iPhone debuts (with photo)

“An hour before the iPhone was set to make its official debut in China, reporters in Beijing counted nearly 300 customers queued up to buy it, according to ChinaNews.com,” Phillip Elmer-Dewitt reports for Fortune. “The first sale was scheduled to be made at 6:30 p.m. Friday Beijing time following an elaborate launch ceremony at the ‘The Place,’ China Unicom’s flagship store. Apple vice president Greg Joswiak spoke at the event, calling it ‘an extraordinary day.'”

Elmer-Dewitt reports, “At Apple’s own all-glass store in the Village at Sanlitun retail development, customers were lining up to buy hot drinks and blankets in response to a sudden cooling in Beijing.”

Elmer-Dewitt reports, “Earlier this week, iPhonAsia’s Dan Butterfield reported that China Unicom is offering an amnesty program to entice the estimated 1.5 to 2 million gray-market iPhones already in China to sign up for its service… At the ceremony Friday, China Unicom officials announced that they now have more than 1 million iPhone 3G subscribers.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “qka” for the heads up.]

26 Comments

  1. At this time, the gray-market iPhones are made with 100% of the iPhone’s features and 30% less expensive. As mandated by the government in China, the iPhones are made without the WiFi and if it were me, I would also get a gray-market iPhone until their government lets up on this.

  2. @Big AL….

    Disagree…

    If Apple could get 1% of the population of China to write native Chinese apps for the iPhone, *then* the iPhone would sell itself as a major portable tele-comm platform.

    Here’s hoping Apple / China / iTunes will approach 100K apps… at that point, China will see an iPhone / iPod Touch Juggernaut.

    Here’s hoping Chinese iPhone devs get on board.

  3. Isn’t that a picture of a Microsoft store opening????
    (sarcasm)

    Hey MDN, can you put some pictures of Microsoft store opening just besides the iPhone so people can see the difference between choice and “give me something if you want me to line up in your store”

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