China Unicom ups iPhone subsidies, sees surge in sales

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“China Unicom, China’s No. 2 mobile carrier, will raise its subsidies for Apple’s iPhone that it sells as it aims to boost demand, potentially sparking a price war among operators,” Kelvin Soh and Fion Li report for Reuters.

“China Unicom added 2.1 million new 3G users in the first quarter of this year to a total of 4.8 million users, slower than bigger rival China Mobile (0941.HK), which added 4.3 million users for a total of 7.7 million,” Soh and Li report. “China Unicom said it will also spend up to 5 billion yuan ($735 million) in phone subsidies this year to attract new 3G customers.”

Soh and Li report, “The increased subsidies have helped sales, Unicom Executive Director Lu Yimin said, with the the number of iPhones sold climbing after the price cut.”

“Earlier, the world’s largest mobile operator China Mobile said it was in talks with Apple to bring into China the company’s iPad tablet PC, and was in talks with local publishers to provide electronic versions of their books available for download,” Soh and Li report. “China Mobile is also in talks with Apple to develop a next-generation iPhone that runs on TD-SCDMA, the homegrown third-generation mobile standard that the company uses.”

Full article here.

Loretta Chao and Lorraine Luk report for The Wall Street Journal, “Mr. Lu, who was speaking at Unicom’s annual shareholder meeting, didn’t say how many iPhones have been sold so far. China Unicom had the fewest number of 3G users among China’s three telecommunications carriers at the end of March, with 26.7% share of 18.08 million users of 3G mobile services at the end of the first quarter compared to China Mobile Ltd.’s 42.5% and China Telecom Corp.’s 30.8%, according to government data.”

Full article here.

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


  1. Great going for Apple in China. Meanwhile, the pathetic Google (after having been kicked to the curb by the Chinese government) is left pondering “could have” and “would have” thoughts. Pity the evil Google.

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