MediaFile

Apple iPhone China debut underwhelms some

November 3, 2009

Apple’s iPhone launched in China last Friday with plenty of fanfare, but the sales numbers so far appear a little light. China Unicom, the iPhone’s carrier in the country, said Tuesday it has signed up 5,000 iPhone subscribers since the launch, below what some analysts were expecting.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster called the China launch a “disappointment.” He was expecting something in the range of 30,000 units. “We believe that eventually China will emerge as a major market for iPhone sales but it could take a year or two to gain meaningful unit traction as it did in the U.S.,” he wrote in a research note Tuesday.

The iPhone is Apple’s biggest growth story, with more than 30 million units sold worldwide since its launch in 2007. China represents a huge market opportunity for Apple, which is starting with about 1,000 places selling the iPhone.

In August, China Unicom signed a three-year non-exclusive deal to sell the iPhone in China, aiming to boost its launch of 3G services. However, some analysts say the handset — which costs $700 to $1,000 — will eventually require more subsidies to boost sales.

IPhone sales in the U.S. are heavily subsidized by exclusive carrier AT&T, enabling consumers to get the latest generation device for as little as $199.

Comments
3 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

That’s because you can’t eat an iphone or whatever its called. China was happier left alone as a 5000 year old agrarian society. American greed would have fared better left within its shores. Your lack of gainful employment bears proof. Jim Warner, conservative American.

Posted by Jim Warner | Report as abusive
 

I’m on my second iPhone and honestly searched long and hard for a different smart phone to replace my first iPhone, but there currently aren’t any that compete in price, features, etc. iPhones are beginning to have run their course and we’ll see dramatic declines in sales over the next few months as other companies are able to market better and cheaper phones. People are quickly tiring of iPhones quirks, and itunes which is a joke to use. This is my last iPhone.

Posted by Frank | Report as abusive
 

I actually came across a similar blog http://theappleblog.com/2009/10/30/iphon e-launches-in-china/

it’s really expensive, I wonder how do they sell when in fact China produces smartphones for as low as $200. Given the functionality, iPhone is really pretty amazing of course.

 

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