or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › China's largest e-commerce site sells 5 iPhones in 2 weeks
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

China's largest e-commerce site sells 5 iPhones in 2 weeks

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 
Just five official China Unicom iPhones have been reported sold through Taobao.com, the eBay of China, in its first two weeks of availability on the Web site.

According to IDG News Service, the site has sold just two of the 8GB iPhone 3G, and three of the 16 GB iPhone 3GS. It does not mention any sales of the 32GB iPhone 3GS.

China Unicom opened its official iPhone store on Taobao.com on Nov. 22. It is the only Web site, aside form the official China Unicom one, where customers can buy official handsets. All purchases are said to be activated before they are shipped.

When the iPhone launched on China Unicom in early November, it sold just 5,000 handsets in its first few days. However, the wireless carrier has said it is satisfied with the device's performance thus far.

The biggest issue for official iPhones in China is said to be the nation's gray market. While the high-end iPhone 3GS carries a relatively high price of 6,999 yuan, or $1,024, without a contract, the same handset can be purchased on the gray market in Hong Kong for about $800.

The level of enthusiasm in the nation of over one billion has also been restrained by the lack of Wi-Fi in the official China Unicom iPhone. The feature was left out because the Chinese government temporarily banned the wireless standard in favor of a rival Chinese offering. The ban was relaxed in May, after manufacturing of the phone began, and China Unicom officials expect to have a new Wi-Fi-equipped phone available soon.

Difficulty using the App Store may also play a part, IDG News Service added.

"Credit cards are increasingly common in China, but their holders rarely use them to make small payments via mobile phone, local consultancy Analysys International said in a research note," the report said. "Credit card penetration also remains low among young people of the sort that would like the App Store, it said. Many Chinese make payments via mobile phone but do so with prepaid cards sold by local carriers. The App Store will need to add new payment options and more localized content to win more users in China."

In contrast, since the iPhone launched in South Korea last week, it has reportedly sold more than 60,000 through online orders.

Despite its slow start, China Unicom officials have said they expect 10 percent of 3G users on its network to be using the iPhone within three years. The company's chairman has also predicted that Apple's handset will become the best-selling smartphone in all of China.
post #2 of 77
Yeah... Thanx to the outrageous price and the lack of wifi
bb
Reply
bb
Reply
post #3 of 77
And the recent relaxation of the WiFi ban, which means everyone knows the next update will have it.
post #4 of 77
WOW, they are really flying off the shelves!

Read an interesting article yesterday about Apple underestimating Chinese customers' preferences and thus being the reason for complete failure in the market
Want to save America?

Vote Ron Paul for President in 2012
Reply
Want to save America?

Vote Ron Paul for President in 2012
Reply
post #5 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Yeah... Thanx to the outrageous price and the lack of wifi

'Zactly.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

    AT&T believes their LTE coverage is adequate

Reply
post #6 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

WOW, they are really flying off the shelves!

Read an interesting article yesterday about Apple underestimating Chinese customers' preferences and thus being the reason for complete failure in the market

What are they? They prefer buttons? Don't like fart apps?
post #7 of 77
Does it have anything to do with the fact that the average worker doesn't make much money? It's not like here in the US or Europe where people make a decent living.
post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post

And the recent relaxation of the WiFi ban, which means everyone knows the next update will have it.

Does anyone know if the chip was simply not enabled in the software?
post #9 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the average worker doesn't make much money? It's not like here in the US or Europe where people make a decent living.

To a point, but I don't think that's enough of a reason to explain such low numbers, there are a lot of people with money in China.
post #10 of 77
Probably all five people who bought iPhones are counterfeiters who plan to take them apart and make cheaper knockoffs, which is what most of China will actually buy.

I'm kidding, but only kind of.
post #11 of 77
Until the Wifi-enabled models arrives in China, there will be countless stories about poor iPhone sales. Of course this first batch of castrated phones is going to be unwanted. It's a shame that Apple got caught up in this bad timing, but if they delayed indefinitely there would be a different group of people labeling their launch a failure. Sometimes you can't win...
post #12 of 77
Why buy it from Unicom when you can get one off cheaper while having more capability?
post #13 of 77
Wow, they really are starting from scratch. You have to ask is that market quite as savvy as analysts predict.
post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Until the Wifi-enabled models arrives in China, there will be countless stories about poor iPhone sales. Of course this first batch of castrated phones is going to be unwanted. It's a shame that Apple got caught up in this bad timing, but if they delayed indefinitely there would be a different group of people labeling their launch a failure. Sometimes you can't win...

Well we have castrated iPhones here- no tethering, yet they sell.
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruel24 View Post

Does it have anything to do with the fact that the average worker doesn't make much money? It's not like here in the US or Europe where people make a decent living.

How in the world does Apple justify such a high price, shame on them. The iPhone is made in China for crying out loud!

I honestly don't see how the iPhone has any chance to take off in China, restrictions are too stifling, you pretty much can't use any of the features that make the iPhone such a great product.

Also, why buy a legit iPhone when you can buy a black market hacked phone that isn't restricted for much less money, I suspect a lot of people do just that.
post #16 of 77
wow now we know what it feels like to be a Zune Fanboy!
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
From Apple ][ - to new Mac Pro I've used them all.
Long on AAPL so biased
Google Motto "You're not the customer. You're the product."
Reply
post #17 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

What are they? They prefer buttons? Don't like fart apps?

Their "Commies"! You know, "We will bury you!" Nikita Khrushchev RED!

Don't know true Captialism or Freedom and still have a high anxiety level of fear and distrust. Talk about your PTSD!

Ever see one's reaction to a news camera. Here in the US everryone hogs in front of a news camera for their 15 seconds of fame. Over there, especially the old times but the next generation as well, have a look in their faces, that being seen on camera will come back to haunt them from their leadership. Glad I don't live in a place that is so suppressing that it would make me feel that way. And so much for the iPhone 3Gs it has a camera and can take video!!! Those poor Chinese people!

Fart app humor?! Think they know humor??? I'd like to see their version of Jay Leno or Johnny Carson making jokes about their president, In the land of no dissent!

But give it time... Maybe the iPhone can bring World Peace?! Hell Obama was nominated for Nobel Peace prize while only being in office for a month and he won, so stranger things have happened!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #18 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

WOW, they are really flying off the shelves!

Read an interesting article yesterday about Apple underestimating Chinese customers' preferences and thus being the reason for complete failure in the market

Interesting. So why keep it a secret?
post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

To a point, but I don't think that's enough of a reason to explain such low numbers, there are a lot of people with money in China.

Wrong. The average salary in China is like 2k. That means an iPhone costs nearly half their yearly salary.
post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunga View Post

Wrong. The average salary in China is like 2k. That means an iPhone costs nearly half their yearly salary.

That's a lot of bok choy.
post #21 of 77
This outcome is no surprise. What a waste (it'll end up in landfills).

The only surprise with this is why Apple even bothered. Weird.
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by wallymcgoo View Post

Wow, they really are starting from scratch. You have to ask is that market quite as savvy as analysts predict.

Capitalist market under the thumb of a communist regime is always going to be stifled. Not only that but unlike a free market it works to deepen the class separation even further than you see in your typical communist country (if there is such a thing).

A big reason China keeps loaning the US money is because an economic collapse in the US would take away a huge part of their market. A capitalist market under a communist regime really can't stand on it's own, it needs other capitalist markets that will buy into it.
post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by lunga View Post

Wrong. The average salary in China is like 2k. That means an iPhone costs nearly half their yearly salary.

While the average may be true (who knows anyway, it's not like those things are well documented in China) there are many very wealthy people in China who'd have no problem buying the iPhone, or 100. They even lend money to the US after all, and keep buy up things like Facebook.

However yes those people probably already have an iPhone from other sources and wouldn't want some castrated version anyway. Let's see when a new model comes out, then it should be interesting...
post #24 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

What are they? They prefer buttons? Don't like fart apps?

Apparently not... could explain the rise of China and the decline of the west, eh?

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply

Do not overrate what you have received, nor envy others.
15" Matte MacBook Pro: 2.66Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, GT330m 512MB, 512GB SSD

iPhone 5 Black 32GB

iPad 3rd Generation, 32GB

Mac Mini Core2Duo 2.26ghz,...

Reply
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud
What are they? They prefer buttons? Don't like fart apps?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Apparently not... could explain the rise of China and the decline of the west, eh?

Hmmm, interesting point, I am ashamed to say I have the fart app.
post #26 of 77
The Chinese market is a completely different beast. It's quite the anomaly. Flooded with knockoffs and whatever novel effect their combination of Communism/controlled-Capitalism has on consumer buying power. I'm guessing it's not all good.
post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

WOW, they are really flying off the shelves!

Read an interesting article yesterday about Apple underestimating Chinese customers' preferences and thus being the reason for complete failure in the market

don't know that the blame is all on Apple. The Gov't restrictions may have nixed a few things. Also, localized apps are due to local app developers. they are not Apple offerings. so we would have to examine whether the SDK is available to those in China to make localized apps.

And the article is rather misleading, especially the headline. it makes it sound like only 5 phones have sold period. but this site is a bit like looking at only the Radio Shack sales in the US and not the Best Buy, ATT Store and Apple Store sales. And the numbers aren't shocking when there's a heavy market for phones bought elsewhere and unlocked so you have wifi etc.

Honestly I feel like half the reason that an iphone deal was done in China at all is because to many it seemed absurd that the phones are made there but can't be legally bought there.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #28 of 77
Quote:
'The App Store will need to add new payment options and more localized content to win more users in China.'

Okay, I can understand the lack of localized content, but what other forms of payment do they need? Do they not have prepaid gift cards?
post #29 of 77
WiFi: nothing to do with Apple, soon to be corrected. Pricing: set by the Chinese carrier, easily corrected if they judge that competition with the gray market requires it.

Not really very complicated, and scarcely an indictment of Apple's hardware or marketing savvy. If we see an official Chinese iPhone in the near future that is comparable in capabilities and pricing to the gray market phones, then it will be time to take the measure of Apple's fortunes in that market.

As it stands, the poor sales were entirely inevitable.
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
Reply
post #30 of 77
Pricing the locally produced iPhone so high, even after considering the absence of any WiFi internals, may hint to an answer, because any pricing had to be set by the Chinese.

Most Chinese companies are partially government owned, and here you have to keep in mind the communist definition of government as the one who keeps for the state all means of production and every market decision.

Apple was supposed to help spread the chinese version of 3G, and probably the chinese version of WiFi as well, but with the current deal it is doing neither.

My guess is Apple is being castigated by China.
post #31 of 77
If anybody is interested the China Unicom iPhone pricing schedule can be seen at:

http://translate.googleusercontent.c...f1theJ05EkoK5g
post #32 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by jz1492 View Post

Pricing the locally produced iPhone so high, even after considering the absence of any WiFi internals, may hint to an answer, because any pricing had to be set by the Chinese.

Most Chinese companies are partially government owned, and here you have to keep in mind the communist definition of government as the one who keeps for the state all means of production and every market decision.

Apple was supposed to help spread the chinese version of 3G, and probably the chinese version of WiFi as well, but with the current deal it is doing neither.

My guess is Apple is being castigated by China.

No they are not
post #33 of 77
I'm not familiar with this site but maybe it should read: Taobao sells entire iPhone inventory! I know that if I were buying a new iPhone here, I wouldn't go to Ebay. I'd go to AT&T or the Apple Store. Who cares how well a single store sold a product. All that matters is how many they sold total. I know that is still a low number, but as others have said who wants the current model when they will be releasing a new model very soon.
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by eehd View Post

Okay, I can understand the lack of localized content, but what other forms of payment do they need? Do they not have prepaid gift cards?

Cash is King in China.
post #35 of 77
Very simple, they prefer the pirate iPhones (the real ones), they are very cheap, no contracts, they pay as they go and they, surprise: can afford it like that. So maybe the manufacturer is selling some (millions) of iPhones out the back door as is a very popular phone with the young crowd and expats.
In China credit card use is minimal, everything is cash so good luck with the AppStore!
post #36 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

WOW, they are really flying off the shelves!

Read an interesting article yesterday about Apple underestimating Chinese customers' preferences and thus being the reason for complete failure in the market

As a couple others have pointed out the iPhone has already been a success in China since the original iPhone. The main problem now is the lack or WiFi while unlocked iPhones can be had for less money with WiFi on grey markets.

What I want to see is data from the S. Korean iPhone sales. Since they lock out IMEIs they font have a thriving underground market for iPhones like China. So far, the reports look promising for Apple yet the nuumber of iPhones currently used in China will be considerably higher.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hezekiahb View Post

How in the world does Apple justify such a high price, shame on them. The iPhone is made in China for crying out loud!

What does that have to do with anything? I assure you the tariffs for an outside company to do business in China outweight the shipping cost from the country.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
Reply
post #37 of 77
Well, there aren't that many people in china anyway, so no biggie
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Yeah... Thanx to the outrageous price and the lack of wifi

Here's a test of your knowledge. Can you explain why Apple released the iPhone in China with WiFi disabled? Why would they do that? Your answer will determine just much you do or don't know about the situation.

I await your answer.
post #39 of 77
Why pay more for a phone that has less functionality? For the people who will spend $1000 on a phone, they have the money to go to Hong Kong (which is part of China), Japan, or any nearby country to buy an official unlocked iPhone. Heck, the round trip ticket to the US is less than $1000!
post #40 of 77
So where does that put Apple so far as to the percentage of marketshare for the Chinese smart phone segment? 00.00001%?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › China's largest e-commerce site sells 5 iPhones in 2 weeks