China Unicom struggles with tremendous demand for Apple’s iPhone 4

“China Unicom said Sunday its supply of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4 handsets is currently insufficient to meet user demand but that it will boost its stock as quickly as possible, as sales began at a much faster pace than when the network operator first launched older versions of the iPhone last year,” Owen Fletcher reports for MarketWatch.

“China Unicom had taken over 200,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders by early Saturday, the day sales started, and over 40,000 buyers received the phone and a bundled mobile service plan that day, the company said in a statement,” Fletcher reports. “For comparison, China Unicom last year said it sold 100,000 iPhone handsets in roughly six weeks after launching the devices in late October. Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said: ‘More iPhones will be available soon and customers should check back with their local store or online for updates on availability.'”

Fletcher reports, “Unicom did not give details on its stock of the iPhone 4, but network operators elsewhere have also faced tight supply of the phone. Telstra Corp.’s Hong Kong unit, CSL Ltd., said in August it was facing challenges delivering the iPhone 4 due to overwhelmingly high demand. In the U.S., high demand for the iPhone 4 in late June led operator AT&T Inc. to stop taking new orders on the first day of preorders, citing processing problems. In a statement at the time, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs said the company apologized to customers who were turned away due to insufficient supply.”

Read more in the full article here.

28 Comments

  1. What a nice problem to have. The China market must be a daunting one to fill if milions or billions want your product.

    In contrast the arrival of Windows Phone 7 will be accompanied by the sound of crickets and Yellow Sky lonely wind sfx. The classic ghost town reception.

  2. What a nice problem to have. The China market must be a daunting one to fill if milions or billions want your product.

    In contrast the arrival of Windows Phone 7 will be accompanied by the sound of crickets and Yellow Sky lonely wind sfx. The classic ghost town reception.

  3. Ok….where are all those Android sales and activations numbers in China?…Oh…..and why is there no concern over the iPhone’s “antenna problem” in China…..hmmmmmm? The Chinese must be really out of touch if millions/billions what the iPhone 4 that badly (dripping sarcasm). ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Ok….where are all those Android sales and activations numbers in China?…Oh…..and why is there no concern over the iPhone’s “antenna problem” in China…..hmmmmmm? The Chinese must be really out of touch if millions/billions what the iPhone 4 that badly (dripping sarcasm). ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  5. Funny how the sales are better when you don’t wait two years and then kneecap the product.

    And the iPad was released last week as well.

    My head is still reeling at the number of PC-heads I’ve seen who now proudly tote around their iPads.

  6. Funny how the sales are better when you don’t wait two years and then kneecap the product.

    And the iPad was released last week as well.

    My head is still reeling at the number of PC-heads I’ve seen who now proudly tote around their iPads.

  7. Remember this:

    China Telecom is a government run company like Freddie and Fannie are. (we all know too well know that both of those were used as a instrument of government policy for the poor to trillions of dollars in losses instead of sound business practices practices)

    Since the grey market is where most Chinese people get their less expensive, wifi enabled, non government controlling iPhones; it’s reasonable to assume there could be some fudging going on in respects to the actual demand by Chiina Telecom to boast the government controlled iPhone over the grey market ones.

    In either case Apple still wins, but I don’t see how a $200 a month Foxconn worker can afford a $600 iPhone and it’s accompanying China Telecom rate plan.

    Would they much prefer VOIP from the gray market iPhones?

  8. Remember this:

    China Telecom is a government run company like Freddie and Fannie are. (we all know too well know that both of those were used as a instrument of government policy for the poor to trillions of dollars in losses instead of sound business practices practices)

    Since the grey market is where most Chinese people get their less expensive, wifi enabled, non government controlling iPhones; it’s reasonable to assume there could be some fudging going on in respects to the actual demand by Chiina Telecom to boast the government controlled iPhone over the grey market ones.

    In either case Apple still wins, but I don’t see how a $200 a month Foxconn worker can afford a $600 iPhone and it’s accompanying China Telecom rate plan.

    Would they much prefer VOIP from the gray market iPhones?

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