China Unicom sells out of iPhone 4 in four days; 100,000 units sold, another 100k on back-order

“About 100,000 units of iPhone 4 have been sold within four days after its official launch in China and another 100,000 consumers who placed orders for these units will receive their phones by the end of next month, China Unicom, the official partner of Apple, said on Tuesday,” China Daily reports.

“‘The sales of previous versions of iPhones created a solid foundation for the explosive performance of the iPhone 4 this year,’ said Li Gang, senior vice-president of China Unicom. The shipment for the first day was over 40,000 units, according to the company,” China Daily reports. “China Unicom had received 200,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 since Sept 17.”

China Daily reports, “The company announced that it is waiting for the approval of the iPad 3G from the Chinese government… China Unicom was granted a license to operate the wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA), a 3G technology in China, which was launched on Jan 7, 2009. According to statistics released by China Unicom on Tuesday, the company’s 3G users reached the 10 million mark from 9.5 million users in August.”

Full article here.

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

40 Comments

  1. …and as China’s economy emerges, and as iPhone prices go down over time, it will come into the reach of more people. No, I don’t think you’ll be able to walk down the average Chinese street and see white earbuds on every 3rd person like you do in the US or Europe. But Apple knows that *mindshare* is as important (if not more) than market share. I will never be able to afford a Porsche but I bet the folks that make them are glad I know what the best is. Maybe everyone in China won’t be able to get an iPhone, but Apple is betting that they’re all at least going to *want* one.

  2. …and as China’s economy emerges, and as iPhone prices go down over time, it will come into the reach of more people. No, I don’t think you’ll be able to walk down the average Chinese street and see white earbuds on every 3rd person like you do in the US or Europe. But Apple knows that *mindshare* is as important (if not more) than market share. I will never be able to afford a Porsche but I bet the folks that make them are glad I know what the best is. Maybe everyone in China won’t be able to get an iPhone, but Apple is betting that they’re all at least going to *want* one.

  3. One of the reasons why the iPhone is so expensive in China is that there is no contract with the carriers. You pay full price for the phone.

    There will be some Chinese who will pay for it, and that amount will grow slowly over time. But I think Apple is just here to pull cash out of the super rich. It will be an enormous time before the typical folks will pay crazy prices for items that can be bought easily for 1/10th the price. Remember, unlike the west, Chinese people save an enormous amount of their salary. Easily over 40% of their money goes straight to the bank.

  4. One of the reasons why the iPhone is so expensive in China is that there is no contract with the carriers. You pay full price for the phone.

    There will be some Chinese who will pay for it, and that amount will grow slowly over time. But I think Apple is just here to pull cash out of the super rich. It will be an enormous time before the typical folks will pay crazy prices for items that can be bought easily for 1/10th the price. Remember, unlike the west, Chinese people save an enormous amount of their salary. Easily over 40% of their money goes straight to the bank.

  5. I just talked to my Chinese exgf and was surprised she even got a new iPhone4 in Shanghai. She said that while it’s kind of expensive (you can buy a big PC laptop for the same price), there are many people that can’t live without it, because it’s like a businessman’s tool box. It works where and when you need it and there are lot of special apps for it.

    The price is not a problem, most people are upgrading from equally expensive phone. Then there are the rich kids living at home needing a game platform, phone, iPod, study aid etc. and web browser, etc… suddenly iPhone is not that expensive at all.

    With over 200 million Chinese that can afford the iPhone, I expect it to be a hit.

  6. I just talked to my Chinese exgf and was surprised she even got a new iPhone4 in Shanghai. She said that while it’s kind of expensive (you can buy a big PC laptop for the same price), there are many people that can’t live without it, because it’s like a businessman’s tool box. It works where and when you need it and there are lot of special apps for it.

    The price is not a problem, most people are upgrading from equally expensive phone. Then there are the rich kids living at home needing a game platform, phone, iPod, study aid etc. and web browser, etc… suddenly iPhone is not that expensive at all.

    With over 200 million Chinese that can afford the iPhone, I expect it to be a hit.

  7. [I just put this on another discussion of the same topic and paste it here]The last few articles I have read on the launch in China have acted like it is a real surprise that launch figures are 200,000 vs. the 5,000 of last year. If there were no subsidies at all available last year and everyone had to pay full price, then that may be a contributing factor. Evenso, as others have mentioned, I don’t think price is the whole story…

    Each article has failed to mention a key difference: last year’s iPhone for China was missing WIFI. I think the Chinese are as savvy as anyone else and realize this is would make the iPhone extremely handicapped.

    This was not an Apple failure, this was required by the China govt./regulators. Small wonder that figures are up this year and are more in line with iPhone launches elsewhere. Much as I would not settle for anything less than an iPhone, WIFI makes it the compelling device that it is. If I really wanted an iPhone, whether or not I was part of the Chinese economy, I would still pay full price if I had too — but if it was missing WIFI, no deal. And I am sure there are more than 5,000 others in the whole of China who felt the same way. That’s why last year’s numbers were so low.

    I mean, that’s like selling Wii’s with its famous motion control disabled. Big news. Enable motion controllers a year later and see if the sales figures increase, then say it was because the stores offered financing. Huh?

  8. [I just put this on another discussion of the same topic and paste it here]The last few articles I have read on the launch in China have acted like it is a real surprise that launch figures are 200,000 vs. the 5,000 of last year. If there were no subsidies at all available last year and everyone had to pay full price, then that may be a contributing factor. Evenso, as others have mentioned, I don’t think price is the whole story…

    Each article has failed to mention a key difference: last year’s iPhone for China was missing WIFI. I think the Chinese are as savvy as anyone else and realize this is would make the iPhone extremely handicapped.

    This was not an Apple failure, this was required by the China govt./regulators. Small wonder that figures are up this year and are more in line with iPhone launches elsewhere. Much as I would not settle for anything less than an iPhone, WIFI makes it the compelling device that it is. If I really wanted an iPhone, whether or not I was part of the Chinese economy, I would still pay full price if I had too — but if it was missing WIFI, no deal. And I am sure there are more than 5,000 others in the whole of China who felt the same way. That’s why last year’s numbers were so low.

    I mean, that’s like selling Wii’s with its famous motion control disabled. Big news. Enable motion controllers a year later and see if the sales figures increase, then say it was because the stores offered financing. Huh?

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