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iPhone 2nd in US retail; China iPhone deal already struck?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Apple is just short of the top spot for US phone sales in stores. Also, China Unicom may be close to a long-awaited deal for the iPhone in its country, the Boston area is slated for another Apple store, and iFixit has broken with tradition to tear down an Amazon Kindle 2.

Apple second in US retail phone sales

Apple was just slightly edged out in retail phones by its arch-rival Research in Motion during December, a study of US carrier retail stores by AvianResearch shows.

The iPhone 3G managed to claim second place for a second consecutive month but was once again outperformed in a canvassing of store results by the BlackBerry Curve. Other BlackBerries also held on to their positions with the touchscreen Storm clinging on to third and the Bold dipping slightly to sixth place.

Touchscreen devices notably dominate the list in a way they haven't before. The LG Voyager and Dare take fourth and fith place, while Samsung's Behold (for T-Mobile) and Instinct (for Sprint) occupy eighth and ninth place. Just two phones -- the seventh-place Samsung Rant and tenth-place LG enV2 -- are neither smartphones nor touchscreen devices.

RIM's continued reign isn't explained in the charts, though various flavors of the Curve are available at all four major American providers while the iPhone is limited to AT&T.

The rankings aren't necessarily representative of the entire US market and leave particular flexibility for both Apple and RIM to gain the upper hand. Retail frequently doesn't include business sales, which more heavily favor BlackBerries; the limitation only to carrier stores also excludes official Apple stores, Best Buy and Walmart, all three of which are significant outlets for iPhone sales.

China Unicom close to iPhone deal?

British consulting firm Ovum suggests that Apple may have switched its choice of carrier in a bid to bring the iPhone to China.

Where discussions with China Mobile have reportedly broken down over the government-backed carrier's insistence on controlling the local version of the App Store, Ovum now claims that second-ranked China Unicom has tentatively reached an agreement and could start selling iPhones as early as May.

The launch would hinge largely on China Unicom's first trial run of 3G. In contrast to China Mobile, which is pushing the government's TD-SCDMA wireless standard, the smaller provider should be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network on May 17th and would let Apple sell a device like the iPhone 3G virtually unchanged while supporting all its features.

Neither of the involved companies has commented on the accuracy of the claims.

New Boston-area Apple store in the works?

If information obtained by ifo Apple Store proves authentic, the outskirts of Boston will get another Apple retail store to call their own.

A shop is believed planned for the Legacy Place mall in Dedham, a small but affluent town just southwest of the larger city. The location will open in the fall and may be accompanied by an opening for the Apple store itself at the same time.

The densely-packed New England region is no stranger to Apple stores, as Chestnut Hill's location is just five miles away while Braintree's South Shore storefront is 12 miles away. Boston itself centers on the Boylston Street flagship.

iFixit tears down a rare non-Apple device

Best known for dismantling and identifying components in iPhones, iPods and Macs, iFixit on Tuesday conducted a detailed teardown of Amazon's Kindle 2 e-book reader.

While a very different class of device, opening and examining the device revealed a very iPod-like construction -- including the difficulty of removing the back without special tools. Few parts are shared between the Kindle 2 and any of Apple's devices, though Samsung is involved both in flash memory and RAM.



One surprise for those unfamiliar with book readers is the display: as e-paper doesn't require power until the screen needs an update, the test model retained its image even after the power and nearly every other component was removed.

The Kindle 2 started shipping on Monday and is available through Amazon as of today.
post #2 of 18
While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

Sales of Apple computers haven't been particularly outstanding in China (vs the rest of Asia), while cheap knockoff products do quite well.

Sure, there will be a noticeable bump in sales right after the iPhone is initially released (somewhat offset by unlocked iPhones purchased in other markets), but I expect it to be a small increment to Apple's sales...
post #3 of 18
Quote:
While a very different class of device, opening and examining the device revealed a very iPod-like construction -- including the difficulty of removing the back without special tools. Few parts are shared between the Kindle 2 and any of Apple's devices, though Samsung is involved both in flash memory and RAM.

First it is- then it isn't? Just leave it that is is what it is- this Kindle2 is a major hit and Amazon should be applauded and not thought of as being derivative of Apple or iPod. They (Amazon) were very innovative with this reader- congrats to them. They did it right.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

Sales of Apple computers haven't been particularly outstanding in China (vs the rest of Asia), while cheap knockoff products do quite well.

Sure, there will be a noticeable bump in sales right after the iPhone is initially released (somewhat offset by unlocked iPhones purchased in other markets), but I expect it to be a small increment to Apple's sales...

I think you'll be surprised.

While the median income there is far lower than would be required to represent a large market, the small percentage of the country who are truly rich and willing to spend on status phones represents a very large number.

I for one don't understand why Apple broke with its general tradition of going after the number two carrier in a country. By doing so, Apple gains negotiating leverage and the ability of the iPhone to strip the most profitable customers away from competitors further does so. I would have expected China Unicom to be the choice from the beginning.
post #5 of 18
Quote:
The smaller provider should be running its first trials for an iPhone-compatible WCDMA network on May 17th and would let Apple sell a device like the iPhone 3G virtually unchanged while supporting all its features.

Just curious what constitutes 'virtually unchanged'? Can current iPhones be used on their WCDMA network with just a SIM change (or even through presumably-expensive roaming), or are there more technical barriers to interoperability?

(I also wonder how selling the iPhone in China will impact its gray-market value. I can't imagine Apple having as much control over unlocking there as they might in other countries.)
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

The short answer: Yes.

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

Sales of Apple computers haven't been particularly outstanding in China (vs the rest of Asia), while cheap knockoff products do quite well.

Sure, there will be a noticeable bump in sales right after the iPhone is initially released (somewhat offset by unlocked iPhones purchased in other markets), but I expect it to be a small increment to Apple's sales...

If you think about it, they sold more cars in China this January, than in the US. China is already the second largest car market and computer market in the world. They can afford just a phone. You probably forgot, they already have hundreds of thousands of unlocked iPhones in use, which they paid for more than the sale price in the US. With 600 million mobile phone users, even a small percentage is a lot.
post #8 of 18
Ok I know nobody asked me but you gotta hand it to Amazon they have done something really neat in Kindle. It is a nice but very focused device.

What I'm hoping for from Apple is a similar sized device with a more universal screen. Something that ideally is a full color OLED of high resolution. The idea being to be able to use it like an iPod Touch on steroids. Of course reading books would be nice too.

As to Kindle I do love the idea. The only thing I find perplexing is the limited storage the unit comes with. Hopefully Apple does not make the same mistake. Why all the storage you may ask, simple some magazines I have subscriptions to I keep forever. I would want to do like wise on a Kindle. In a similar way I often keep books for a very long time. 16 GB of flash would make me feel like the device would be good for a few years.

Unfortunately some of the books and magazines I read have color illustrations. This is another short coming of E-Ink. Thankfully it is a limited problem and really doesn't detract to much from Kindles targeted use.

The built in battery sucks too. At least it looks built in, have to dig up the dirt here.

Dave
post #9 of 18
To answer most of the questions people have with China Market

It is not about the percentage of wealthy people in China. It is about the mentality. There may be Huge number of rich people in US, but how many of them are willing to spend money on phones.
You will be surprised a lot of people spend a whole month or even 2 months of their salary just to get their Mobile Phone.
Contrary to Mobile Phones, They buy computer on a value basis. That is why Dell succeed in China while Apple did not hold much market shares.

Quote:
I for one don't understand why Apple broke with its general tradition of going after the number two carrier in a country.

Number 2? What about AT&T?

China Unicom was never a first choice because they do not have a 3G license. It wasn't until recent few months China government have handed out 3G license to different company. By "virtually unchanged" i think AI means totally unchanged.

There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

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There are only two kind of people in this world.

Those who dont understand Apple and those who misunderstood Apple.

Reply
post #10 of 18
Good move by Apple to choose China Unicom instead of the lich sucking China Mobile who want complete control.
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

Well it is a question of definition, but having done a certain amount of research in this area the median figure for China's 'middle-class' i.e those who have access to a 'western-equivalent' income (which is much higher in real terms viz the domestic economy) currently stands at about 130 million, and is expanding by between 10-15 million a year. That latter figure may not hold up in the current global economic malaise, but yes it is a very sizeable prize for Apple or anyone else to aim for.

Edit: Also, at last year's CCP Congress, the government announced a change in economic macro policy. They are very aware that the export-led strategy of the last twenty-five years, which has served them very well in getting the economy up and running, has a number of risks attached. So they are starting to re-orientate and look to develop their internal market (don't forget that 70% of US GDP is domestic consumption) meaning that growth will become less dependant on exports. And with one fifth of the world's population, that's one helluva internal market!
Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
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Believe nothing, no matter where you heard it, not even if I have said it, if it does not agree with your own reason and your own common sense.
Buddha
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post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

While China has a large population, do they have a large number of wealthy people to purchase Apple products?

Sales of Apple computers haven't been particularly outstanding in China (vs the rest of Asia), while cheap knockoff products do quite well.

Sure, there will be a noticeable bump in sales right after the iPhone is initially released (somewhat offset by unlocked iPhones purchased in other markets), but I expect it to be a small increment to Apple's sales...

Hell, millions of iPhones could be bought, in Hong Kong alone.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

Number 2? What about AT&T?

China Unicom was never a first choice because they do not have a 3G license. It wasn't until recent few months China government have handed out 3G license to different company. By "virtually unchanged" i think AI means totally unchanged.

I said "general tradition" knowing that ATT was a notable exception. In the USA Apple didn't really have a viable "mid sized" competition to go with.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

I said "general tradition" knowing that ATT was a notable exception. In the USA Apple didn't really have a viable "mid sized" competition to go with.

They also picked the biggest player in the UK, France and Germany. There doesn't appear to be any trend towards picking the number two.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

They also picked the biggest player in the UK, France and Germany. There doesn't appear to be any trend towards picking the number two.

Is Vodafone not the biggest UK player?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

First it is- then it isn't? Just leave it that is is what it is- this Kindle2 is a major hit and Amazon should be applauded and not thought of as being derivative of Apple or iPod. They (Amazon) were very innovative with this reader- congrats to them. They did it right.

Major hit, I've never even seen one before, how is that a hit?
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The only thing I find perplexing is the limited storage the unit comes with. 16 GB of flash would make me feel like the device would be good for a few years.

Every book purchased at Amazon can be freely re-downloaded anytime wirelessly.
And 2GB holds ~1500 400 page books. 500 books/yr for 3 years. 3 books/2 days. How would you manage to find time to post here?
post #18 of 18
I live in Korea and a friend who is a lawyer here, whos firm is working on the iPhone in Korea problems, says that the iPhone will be here by June, and it won't have the WIPI protocol that the Govt requires. Likewise he states that Palms new touch phone will also be here, minus WIPI around the same time.
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