China Unicom may end contract sales of Apple’s iPhone

“China Unicom signed a two-year agreement with Apple back in September of 2010 to offer its iPhone subscribers the handsets at reduced pricing if they agree to 24-month service contracts,” AppleInsider reports. “But high overhead costs for the devices themselves, coupled with a need for continued investment in infrastructure to support surging growth and data consumption by iPhone users, has China Unicom mulling a move to end contract bundles of the phone come next month.”

“A report by China-based states that China Unicom ‘has not substantially profited from sales of iPhone 4’ and therefore may not re-sign its agreement with Apple to continue sales of the iPhone 4S or a new version of the phone widely expected to make its debut in September,” AppleInsider reports. “Though no further details were reported, it appears that the carrier would continue to carry the iPhone but only market it to customers who are willing to pay full retail price for the device.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. What they really mean is, ‘heck, the iPhone is so popular we could have sold as many with the subsidy as without, lets take away the subsidy and charge full whack’.

    1. And China Unicom is also complaining that iPhone users are actually consuming the data bandwidth for which they paid…pitiful, and not all that different from the complaints of AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.

      Don’t be surprised if China Unicom releases the “haiPhone” in a month or so. It will look very familiar and the haiOS will seem strangely user friendly, almost magically so.

  2. This has that Chinese manipulation stench about it. I suspect this ploy is their ‘gun’ and they want Apple to flinch. Hopefully Apple learned their lesson about China after being suckers to the Proview scam.

    Q: Dear Apple, Why do you bother with China: Criminal Nation at all?

    1. Yes, it does. However, in this case, they are WRONG. If they drop apple, they will be so beyond shafted because any other chinese carrier will be willing to carry the iPhone to get a leg up on their competitor.

      Basically, it will end up with China Unicom acting like the iPhone starved Verizon or Sprint, and groveling in front of apple for the next 3 years after losing half their customers to someone else.

      1. Great response dinjin201. I’ll never stop being amazed that bloggers of such limited experience and intelligence, have the ability to start a whole conversation, based on nothing factual.

    2. Could be manipulation? Or they could be trying to make all the money they can just like Apple? It’s business, everyone isn’t supposed to cater to Apple. It’s where the big boys play. Apple is a huge target now so other companies will try to scam them just like Proview did. It’s just part of being the biggest guy on the block. There’s always some asshole trying to mess with you. If you bitch slap a couple the rest will usually take note.

    3. Q: Dear Apple, Why do you bother with China: Criminal Nation at all?

      Because of the approximately 7 billion people in the world, 1.3 billion are in China, making it the world’s most populous nation. Apple is going where the potential customers are.

      1. This news is made up. They tried temper the price movement when they noticed a breakout.

        On Monday, this will be regurgitated by Reuters, Bloomberg, cnbc in the hope the PPS for the stock gets manipulated but with a sophist justification. Apple is not sure of their holdin China. No more subsidies the shysters will proclaim.

        Watch Melissa and Keenan on Monday. They will be foaming in the mouth.

    4. Why bother with China? Maybe it’s the biggest market in the world, and Apple’s second biggest market (soon to be biggest). Are you really that stupid?

      See how the sales numbers and stock does if Apple is stupid enough not to “bother with China”. Wow.

    5. Derek: it is not near rare enough that we see comments such as yours that do not show the capacity for wisdom. It is thoughts like yours that perpetuate costly wars and deepening strife. Although you may think of China as a nation morally challenged, they may grow moral if we rise above pettiness and show them the higher standard.

      1. You are consistently oblivious. PLEASE, move to China and enjoy their NOT welcoming, friendly, creative, open, freedom encouraging culture. China: Criminal Nation remains the single worst enemy of both US prosperity AND security. Dream on and on and on if you think their is any change in their parasitic and destructive culture in their future. I see the commies running the place as the WORST menace in the world today. Sorry to be so clearly justified in my criticism of their crimes. As for us: They just laugh and laugh at our naiveté.

        1. Derek: Don’t tak out of your a$$ idiot. It’s obvious that you’ve never even been to China. I live here and I can tell you its a better life than you will ever have. It’s idiots like you who should never be allowed to get a passport.

          1. Yes, you are a WONDERFUL expression of JUST what I’m talking about. You are such a kind, compassionate, sweet, supportive person who would NEVER rip someone off or INTIMIDATE them with utter BS. Yeah! Let’s all go move to HELL HOLE China: Criminal Nation where the air and water is clean, and the government never fracks with your live and they never have EMPIRE ambitions perpetrated via cracking and fracking the security of the world. Gotta love China: Criminal Nation, our pal and benefactor.

            Thankfully, i have a brain in my head and am not a naive twit, unlike you, anonymous COWARD ‘Derek is a moron’. See you around! 😯

            Oh, and please read the article I linked below. It will blow out your tiny little mind.

      1. Apple should buy at least one US mobile operator and one in EU zone and show many thinks: truly unlimited data plans, no charge for messaging and, the best customer care we are hoping for.

  3. I read this to mean that China Unicom would rather sell crap phones that place no burden on their network. All metrics point to discrepancy between network usage among iPhone users vs Android users. Most Android phone users just don’t push as much data as iPhone users; they use their Androids to make phone calls and text (feature phone people).

  4. This may encourage China Mobile to get moving on a deal with Apple.
    I think China Unicom made it’s prices so low that their wasn’t enough profit to maintain their network and expand it to meet demand. I assume they will subsidize less in the future and keep the iPhone.

    I think in the near future the trend will be towards unsubsidised phones. I would like to see Apple price the iPhone agressively like the ipad and make outright purchase more affordable? I know the carriers oppose it but I would also like to see the phnes with universal chips that could be used on any system. Prepaid is looming larger. I hope it keeps coming eventually Apple may not need to worry about carriers because the phone will work anywhere on any carrier. Of course Apple may also have it’s world wide satellite wifi type wireless system functioning which will transmit voice and data etc just fine at a reasonable price.

  5. Negotiation demands are best when you have leverage. China Unicom picked the worst time to make demands with the top dog, China Mobile, about to sell the I-Phone. If they don’t carry the I-Phone 5 they can expect a mass exodus to China Mobile. Sounds bogus to me

    1. Exactly.

      This has everything to do about trying to stop the onslaught that is the parabolic rise in the stock price. Nothing more.

      You will se this news regurgitated by Reuters, Bloomberg, cnbc and their ilk, in the coming week.

      The shysters know both Unicom and apple will have no comment.

      Best thing that can happen, to make these shysters livid, would be a stock split next week.

  6. I could see dropping some mold the subsidy. But why would you want to drop the entire subsidy of the very popular item. That doesn’t add up to me unless of course you have Some other new phone that you plan on going with and you really don’t want to sell the iPhone all

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