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Apple set to launch iPhone 4 in China early next month

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Apple will launch iPhone 4 in China in the first part of September with carrier partner China Unicom, just weeks after beginning sales of a WiFi-enabled iPhone 3GS in that market.

A report by MarketWatch, citing the Chinese Caixin media group, said a China Unicom source acknowledged that iPhone 4 will ship in the world's largest market shortly, followed by the Chinese release of iPad.

The two products won't be launched at the same time however, and no timeframe was given for the iPad launch.

China Unicom just began selling a WiFi enabled iPhone 3GS earlier this month after Chinese regulators approved the model for sale in July.

China had earlier banned the sale of WiFi products in an effort to promote its own alternative WAPI wireless networking standard, but later relented.

Apple opened its second retail store in China this summer after revealing plans to open 25 new stores in the country.

The company has experienced major new growth in China; Apple's chief operations officer Tim Cook reported 144 percent growth in the country in the most recent quarterly earnings conference call.
post #2 of 25
There's a lot of room to grow in China and Apple's story has hardly been told there so far.

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post #3 of 25
Lenovo's CEO said that Apple "doesn't care about China" and If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.

Big trouble. Right now. And I still think all the rumors of a CDMA iPhone could be caused by a CDMA iPhone for China Telecom first, then Verizon later. China Telecom has 75 million subscribers, Verizon has 90 million. Plenty of incentive for Apple to build a CDMA iPhone, even if it's only going to have a short lifespan before the full all-IP all-packet-switched 4G networks become widespread.

Here's my silly wild ass guess about iPhone versions and release dates:

Jan 2011 - CDMA iPhone 4 for China Telecom
Jun 2011 - CDMA iPhone 5 for Verizon, GSM iPhone 5 for AT&T and T-Mobile (all with NFC "iWallet")
Jun 2012 - 4G iPhone 6 for all carriers with 4G

And I wouldn't be surprised if some of the CDMA chips Apple has supposedly ordered are headed for a Verizon iPad 2. My guess is that it would be released simultaneously with the AT&T iPad 2. This would help set the stage and start the hype rolling (along with the CDMA China Telecom iPhone) for a Verizon iPhone in June...

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post #4 of 25
This is how the release will go..

Apple: Boom! Two new iPhones for you guys!
Chinese: Great, iPhone 4 and 3GS.
Apple: No. Two iPhone 4s. Limited supply.
Chinese: What? Only two. But we are so many.
Apple: You want one? Wait until the end of times. Free shipping.
Chinese: When is that?
Apple: Boom!


Supply in countries around the world are thin at best. 7-10 weeks wait, and now they release
in the biggest country in the world..
Great.
post #5 of 25
If they recently a wifi enabled 3GS does that mean the chinese iPhone 4 has wifi too? And what about macs? Are they going to have 25 stores selling non-wifi enabled macs?
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

If they recently a wifi enabled 3GS does that mean the chinese iPhone 4 has wifi too? And what about macs? Are they going to have 25 stores selling non-wifi enabled macs?

Panic much? The Chinese government backed off, and that was only with regards to the iPhone. Macs have always been selling in China with WiFi for several years now.

Short answer, Apple FTW in China. Plus 25 of their own stores to further establish the brand and capture the high-end market, damn, 2011, 2012 will be nice big years in China. Assuming the world economy doesn't implode again so soon, especially China. Although, even if the global economy sucks people will still be buying Apple stuff. iPhone4 and

iPad continuously sold out with 3-4 week waiting times in some cases, with still plenty of countries left to launch.
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Lenovo's CEO said that Apple "doesn't care about China" and “If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.”...

Apple was previously notoriously conservative when it came to international expansion. For example, they have talked frequently in the past about not being too thrilled with Japan. Australia was left out in the cold for many years, but now Apple has 5-10 official Apple Stores there.

It's all a matter of how many iPhones and iPads Apple can make, and where they decide to allocate them globally. It will be interesting how this plays out. It looks like the projected growth of the middle/middle-upper class in China for 2010 to 2020 will dwarf that of other major economies. Apple is loading the cannons right now. Once the fuse is lit...
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwee View Post

This is how the release will go..

Apple: Boom! Two new iPhones for you guys!
Chinese: Great, iPhone 4 and 3GS.
Apple: No. Two iPhone 4s. Limited supply.
Chinese: What? Only two. But we are so many.
Apple: You want one? Wait until the end of times. Free shipping.
Chinese: When is that?
Apple: Boom!


Supply in countries around the world are thin at best. 7-10 weeks wait, and now they release
in the biggest country in the world..
Great.

My sentiments exactly, can't see the logic in this when the wait is 3-4 weeks in the uk and I think I was quoted either 7 or 9 in Germany. I hope they are ramping production and while they are at it coating the antenna...
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post

My sentiments exactly, can't see the logic in this when the wait is 3-4 weeks in the uk and I think I was quoted either 7 or 9 in Germany. I hope they are ramping production and while they are at it coating the antenna...

Why do they need to coat the antenna? There is no antenna issue for 99.5% of users, those who are in poor signal areas and have this issue have the option of a free bumper. Simples.
post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Why do they need to coat the antenna? There is no antenna issue for 99.5% of users, those who are in poor signal areas and have this issue have the option of a free bumper. Simples.

Thankyou for saying that so I didn't have to
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by nkhm View Post

Why do they need to coat the antenna? There is no antenna issue for 99.5% of users, those who are in poor signal areas and have this issue have the option of a free bumper. Simples.

i will also be interested to see if apple coats or does something else to modify the current hardware. especially since there is no problem its all 'psychological' warfare by the media.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple will launch iPhone 4 in China in the first part of September with carrier partner China Unicom, just weeks after beginning sales of a WiFi-enabled iPhone 3GS in that market.

A report by MarketWatch, citing the Chinese Caixin media group, said a China Unicom source acknowledged that iPhone 4 will ship in the world's largest market shortly, followed by the Chinese release of iPad.

The two products won't be launched at the same time however, and no timeframe was given for the iPad launch.

China Unicom just began selling a WiFi enabled iPhone 3GS earlier this month after Chinese regulators approved the model for sale in July.

China had earlier banned the sale of WiFi products in an effort to promote its own alternative WAPI wireless networking standard, but later relented.

Apple opened its second retail store in China this summer after revealing plans to open 25 new stores in the country.

The company has experienced major new growth in China; Apple's chief operations officer Tim Cook reported 144 percent growth in the country in the most recent quarterly earnings conference call.

Yep, the price tag of $1000+ is a bit steep for most Chinese, hence the iPod touch hack 'Apple Peel 520':



Read the story of a Chinese 22 year old selling a 'hardware hack' at http://micgadget.com/6752/apple-peel...+(M.I.C+gadget)

Cheers,
Phil
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post

If they recently a wifi enabled 3GS does that mean the chinese iPhone 4 has wifi too? And what about macs? Are they going to have 25 stores selling non-wifi enabled macs?

The rules never applied to computers, just cell phones. But the govt now realizes (or should I say, have realized for a long time) that their homegrown standard was not being adopted at all. NO ONE wants to use it. You can find international standard wifi all over the place, but not their homegrown POS.
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

The rules never applied to computers, just cell phones. But the govt now realizes (or should I say, have realized for a long time) that their homegrown standard was not being adopted at all. NO ONE wants to use it. You can find international standard wifi all over the place, but not their homegrown POS.

Good. Chinese consumers aren't stupid and they should be offered the 'full iPhone' experience, not some government-crippled version.

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post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by diamondgeeza View Post

My sentiments exactly, can't see the logic in this when the wait is 3-4 weeks in the uk and I think I was quoted either 7 or 9 in Germany.

Supply has only stabilized in the US in the last week or so at retail. I imagine it is another two weeks before online sales hit a balance here, and another 3 for Europe. They have to be doing a run-rate of almost 3.8MM per month, after a slow start at around 2MM per month.
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Lenovo's CEO said that Apple "doesn't care about China" and If Apple were to spend the same effort on the Chinese consumer as we do, we would be in trouble.

Big trouble. Right now. And I still think all the rumors of a CDMA iPhone could be caused by a CDMA iPhone for China Telecom first, then Verizon later. China Telecom has 75 million subscribers, Verizon has 90 million. Plenty of incentive for Apple to build a CDMA iPhone, even if it's only going to have a short lifespan before the full all-IP all-packet-switched 4G networks become widespread.

Here's my silly wild ass guess about iPhone versions and release dates:

Jan 2011 - CDMA iPhone 4 for China Telecom
Jun 2011 - CDMA iPhone 5 for Verizon, GSM iPhone 5 for AT&T and T-Mobile (all with NFC "iWallet")
Jun 2012 - 4G iPhone 6 for all carriers with 4G

And I wouldn't be surprised if some of the CDMA chips Apple has supposedly ordered are headed for a Verizon iPad 2. My guess is that it would be released simultaneously with the AT&T iPad 2. This would help set the stage and start the hype rolling (along with the CDMA China Telecom iPhone) for a Verizon iPhone in June...

There is one tinny problem with that... Apple can not keep up with the demand for the existing UMTS/3G iPhone 4. They have not introduced this phone in mainland China yet. Limited supply in the rich Middle East market. 10 business days wait at the ATT store when I live. Worse with the iPad 3G 64GB.

The Asian market is huge... just like it is for BMW, VW, GM. China has weird wireless standards like TD-SCDMA, etc, but I doubt the public wants those standard choices. The company is opening 25 stores in China.

Why mess with cantankerous Verizon? It would fragment the supply chain, reduce the economies of scale, etc. Meanwhile, the ATT network is improving. LTE is next anyway.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Good. Chinese consumers aren't stupid and they should be offered the 'full iPhone' experience, not some government-crippled version.

Yep, and it's ironic they are the folks that make them un-crippled for everyone else in the first place!
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post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Yep, and it's ironic they are the folks that make them un-crippled for everyone else in the first place!

I suspect a lot of the iPhone 4 just make a round trip from Mainland China to HK and back. Apple sells official unlocked phones in Hong Kong.

Apple plans to open 25 stores in Mainland China. It may carry the iPhone 4, but I think folks prefer the unlocked version so they use on multiple carriers, besides Unicom. China Mobile has a GSM network with is cheap with SIM cards. Allows for roaming outside China cheaply.

Unlocked phones have a large potential market due to roaming charges, privacy, etc. In places like Saudi Arabia, flirting with text gets a few lashes... or worse.
post #19 of 25
Is the iPhone sold on China Unicom unlocked? I ask because if it is it an used on China Mobile's GSM network with over 550 million subscribers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

China Telecom has 75 million subscribers, Verizon has 90 million. Plenty of incentive for Apple to build a CDMA iPhone, even if it's only going to have a short lifespan before the full all-IP all-packet-switched 4G networks become widespread.

Not to belittle your point as more potential buyers for the same product is great, but we also have to consider the percentage of subscribers per carrier that would be able to or willing to pay for an iPhone plus data plan. I even wonder if even China Mobile would have a higher adoption rate than Verizon if Apple released a GSM/TD-SCDMA iPhone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

Apple was previously notoriously conservative when it came to international expansion.

It seems Apple is reaching saturation points on many levels, thus requiring expansion. As I recall, it wasn't long ago when the US accounted for well over half their revenue, now I think Europe as a whole is close to outselling the US per quarter.
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post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Is the iPhone sold on China Unicom unlocked? I ask because if it is it an used on China Mobile's GSM network with over 550 million subscribers.

I'm pretty sure that it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Apple can not keep up with the demand for the existing UMTS/3G iPhone 4. They have not introduced this phone in mainland China yet. Limited supply in the rich Middle East market. 10 business days wait at the ATT store when I live. Worse with the iPad 3G 64GB.

Word is that Apple has a separate assembly line from Foxconn's going online, designed to produce just CDMA iPhones. So that's not a problem, assuming there's plenty of capacity. A US CDMA release would likely require at least 5-10 million devices in the first month alone. China and Japan would be more manageable. Plus, it would create carrier competition in those two countries. TMobile could provide easy US competition, and as demand for iPhones around the world starts to cool down, providing supply for TMobile won't be that hard. All it would take is a simple radio modification -- nix either the 800 or 900 MHz support to make way for the 1700 MHz TMobile band.

Regardless, there's that Foxconn factory going online next year that can produce ~200k iPhones a day. Get ready...

Here's how I see iPhone history going:

Jan. 2011: iPhone 4 release for tMobile in US with modified 3G UMTS radio. Not hard to do. Rumor is that this may come sooner than January.
Jan. 2011: CDMA iPhone 4 release for China Telecom and KDDI in Japan. Simultaneous Verizon and/or Sprint release possible, depending on manufacturing capacity.
June 2011: iPhone 4S with the current 1 GHz A4 chip (only not underclocked, as it is now), maybe more RAM, and a few other minor tinkerings. Sort of like the 3G to 3GS evolution. Available in UMTS and CDMA flavors. No CDMA/UMTS combo version available.
June 2012: iPhone 4G, with LTE support. Radical design change, a la 3GS to 4. Two flavors: One with UMTS/CDMA/LTE for CDMA carriers only, and the other with UMTS/LTE support as a cost-saving measure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

The Asian market is huge... just like it is for BMW, VW, GM. China has weird wireless standards like TD-SCDMA, etc, but I doubt the public wants those standard choices. The company is opening 25 stores in China.

The public doesn't care what kind of technology a carrier uses, as long as it works. Too bad, as TD-SCDMA could get a lot of companies in patent trouble. TD-SCDMA tries to dodge patents exactly like OGG, and we all know Apple's stance on OGG.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Why mess with cantankerous Verizon? It would fragment the supply chain, reduce the economies of scale, etc. Meanwhile, the ATT network is improving. LTE is next anyway.

A lot of Verizon customers have a bad impression with AT&T, and don't want to switch. Apple knows that if they don't jump in quickly, a lot of people could pick Android phones, and stick with them over the coming years -- just like what happened with Windows.

Right now, most iPhone owners keep their devices for two years or so. Assuming a January 2011 VZ release, most will buy in the next few months after that, and so will replace it in June of 2013, when LTE is widely available, and an LTE iPhone is almost a certainty. So CDMA-only support won't be that big of a deal right now.
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

There is one tinny problem with that... Apple can not keep up with the demand for the existing UMTS/3G iPhone 4. They have not introduced this phone in mainland China yet. Limited supply in the rich Middle East market. 10 business days wait at the ATT store when I live. Worse with the iPad 3G 64GB.

The Asian market is huge... just like it is for BMW, VW, GM. China has weird wireless standards like TD-SCDMA, etc, but I doubt the public wants those standard choices. The company is opening 25 stores in China.

Why mess with cantankerous Verizon? It would fragment the supply chain, reduce the economies of scale, etc. Meanwhile, the ATT network is improving. LTE is next anyway.

You expand your manufacturer list. The other flaw is Verizon. That won't happen until LTE is lit up.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Why mess with cantankerous Verizon? It would fragment the supply chain, reduce the economies of scale, etc.

Economics of scale can become diseconomy of scale, too. I think its safe to say Apple is selling phenomenally more units of their new handsets than any other vendor in the world in that same timeframe. Since there are limits of components, manufacturing and shipping and retail for this one phone type there was always an exception that they will have to branch out if they became popular enough.

Two things I expect
I believe that the iPhone will sell more units than all iPods this quarter, for the first time.
I believe the Mac is ready to bust on product line expansion. Even though they are handling supply and demand well they are having to wait to longer and longer to fill those large component orders that will need to be a huge amount of their new Macs come launch day. How people wait for a new Mac and then pul the trigger the day its announced. I know I do.
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post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Good. Chinese consumers aren't stupid and they should be offered the 'full iPhone' experience, not some government-crippled version.

I think the pressure also came from trade negotiations. Other countries were probably also pissed their products were banned from sale in China itself.
post #24 of 25
In other news, China looks to continue or more frequently be the world's second largest economy: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...argest-economy

Is it any wonder outside the US, China is Apple's next big focus?

Granted, distribution of wealth is a bit screwed up but companies manufacturing in China are all looking at selling those goods in China itself... Sooner or later, probably sooner.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Economics of scale can become diseconomy of scale, too. I think it’s safe to say Apple is selling phenomenally more units of their new handsets than any other vendor in the world in that same timeframe. Since there are limits of components, manufacturing and shipping and retail for this one phone type there was always an exception that they will have to branch out if they became popular enough.

Two things I expect…
— I believe that the iPhone will sell more units than all iPods this quarter, for the first time.
— I believe the Mac is ready to bust on product line expansion. Even though they are handling supply and demand well they are having to wait to longer and longer to fill those large component orders that will need to be a huge amount of their new Macs come launch day. How people wait for a new Mac and then pul the trigger the day it’s announced. I know I do.

Yeah Apple is peaking at what they can do with what they have right now. But they can continue to grow and expand, yet again they have always been relatively conservative on this compared to other companies. Apple will probably be willing to forego market dominance for sustainable growth and high profit margins. Hence the phandroids being so happy Android is "beating" Apple.

I think for this quarter we're going to see some ridiculously good iPhone and iPad numbers. I think iPad could do 5 million in calendar Q3 alone.

As for Macs, its hard to say because Apple seems a bit bipolar on that.
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