China Unicom expects 10% of 3G users on iPhone in 3 years

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Despite a slow sales start, Apple's wireless carrier in China has high expectations for the iPhone, with the company anticipating the handset will carry 10 percent of China's 3G users within three years.



An unnamed senior executive with China Unicom told China Daily that the nation's second-largest carrier has seen great interest in the iPhone from businesses in the nation of over one billion. The company believes that interest will drive the iPhone to a 10 percent share of 3G devices in two to three years.



In addition, China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing publicly said this week that he expects the iPhone to be the best-selling smartphone in all of China.



Officials still have high expectations for Apple's phone, despite the fact taht only 5,000 total subscribers were gained when the iPhone launched in late October. Still, China Unicom is said to be pleased with the success of the device thus far, which coincided with the debut of its 3G network. By the end of October, the carrier was reported to have 1.02 million total 3G subscribers, and officials expect to add another million each month.



Apple hopes to expand its presence in China beyond China Unicom, and is currently in talks with China Mobile, the world's largest wireless carrier. Earlier this year, it was estimated that China Mobile has 475 million subscribers, while China Unicom has 141 million of the nation's 700 million total cell phone users.



One issue for the iPhone in China has been its relatively high price of 6,999 yuan ($1,024) for the high-end iPhone 3GS without a service contract. But the same phone can be bought on China's gray market in Hong Kong for about $800.



Another problem is the Chinese iPhone's lack of Wi-Fi. The feature was left out because the government's regulations temporarily banned Wi-Fi in favor of a rival native system. The ban was not relaxed until May, which was after manufacturing of the new iPhone began. China Unicom officials have said they hope to have a new iPhone equipped with Wi-Fi available by the end of the year.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    Yeah... Thank god, Apple, for you're not officially accused of sales' being so slow.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    this china syndrome as in slow sales in piss poor area's will speed the invention of a mass market

    NANO iPHONE



    go apple



    9
  • Reply 4 of 14
    Quote:

    China Unicom expects 10% of 3G users on iPhone in 3 years





    LMFASSOFF





    The Chinese consumer has already spoken. They don't want a wifi less and outrageously expensive iPhone when they can get a better iPhone, with wifi (thus free voip calls) at a fraction of the price from their local shop who will support them as well.



    In fact what might happen is the Chinese government might demand SIM-integrated phones in the future for all new sales, making present iPhones (even used ones) extremely valuable.



    I still say Apple should hedge itself and move some manufacturing back to the US from China for US and Euro markets. China is still too flaky and communist, certainly not playing fair economically pinning their yuan to the dollar every chance they get.



    And since most Apple gear is made by machine, labor costs is minuscule between the two countries, it would save on shipping and be a good pr move in this tough economic climate.



    Don't trust China to float the yuan, and if they do, it will rise and thus making products made in the US cheaper than China! Apple will be ahead of the game by having some of it's products already made locally.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    China Unicom is blowing smoke. They don't have the ability to get this level of sales... Wait for China Unicom to carry the iPhone, then we'll see some action.
  • Reply 6 of 14
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    I do not how Apple can sell the current iPhone to the China Mobile customers. This network does uses GSM, but their 3G migration path is via TD-SCDMA. It needs a completely new chip set, special antenna design plus GSM. I doubt Apple would want make a limited run... specially since they do not even make CDMA/EVO handsets.



    I doubt anybody would cough $1000 for an iPhone just run GSM on China Mobile. They are better off going with China Unicom. An even better deal is to buy an open HK iPhone for $800 and use the carrier of choice.



    Apple needs to supply the HK grey market with boat loads of the phones. Even provide support like warranty, software, etc. Then let the free market decide.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    I do not how Apple can sell the current iPhone to the China Mobile customers. This network does uses GSM, but their 3G migration path is via TD-SCDMA. It needs a completely new chip set, special antenna design plus GSM. I doubt Apple would want make a limited run... specially since they do not even make CDMA/EVO handsets.



    I doubt anybody would cough $1000 for an iPhone just run GSM on China Mobile. They are better off going with China Unicom. An even better deal is to buy an open HK iPhone for $800 and use the carrier of choice.



    Apple needs to supply the HK grey market with boat loads of the phones. Even provide support like warranty, software, etc. Then let the free market decide.



    What limited run? China Mobile has, what... 300 million customers? That's worth the risk of producing a China Mobile-specific iPhone.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    .......And since most Apple gear is made by machine, labor costs is minuscule between the two countries, it would save on shipping and be a good pr move in this tough economic climate......




    This gets stated from time to time as if it were verifiable fact, but I don't believe it.



    Given Apple's control-freakish ways, it seems pretty evident that if they could build their stuff domestically, in ways that made economic sense, they would.



    I mean, it's not like having your manufacturing in China, far from corporate headquarters and necessitating long distance quality control, not to mention bad PR regarding working conditions, not to mention shipping costs, is super convenient or anything.



    There are enough downsides to make it a pretty sure thing that there has to be a very large upside to doing it al all, and that upside is clearly economic.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    What limited run? China Mobile has, what... 300 million customers? That's worth the risk of producing a China Mobile-specific iPhone.



    They list 513,466,000 subscribes as of the end of October. They only got permission to build a 3G network earlier this year so even if it was a completely compatible network it would be a waste for the iPhone to have that hardware when the 3G infrastructure isn’t built up yet.



    They could release a GSM device in the mean time. Basically like the original iPhone. That would likely sell in droves if you consider how much cheaper it is than the 3GS.



    From Wikipedia, but there are notations to the sources on the page...
    Quote:

    China Mobile's has the world's largest GSM network, which encompasses all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and directly-administered municipalities in Mainland China and includes Hong Kong, too. GPRS is utilized for data transmission.



    Its 3G network, still under construction as of 2009, utilizes the TD-SCDMA standard,[16] which China Mobile helped develop. In 2009 it obtained the requisite licenses needed to pursue full deployment of this new network, and the prior year it had field-tested TD-SCDMA networks in eight cities.



    Note that Vodafone is the world’s 2nd largest mobile network operator and apparently owns 3.4% of China Mobile. Vodafone also owns 45% of Verizon and many other carriers. I wonder if you gave them the percentage of users based on their percentage of ownership if they’d be the largest mobile network operator.
  • Reply 10 of 14
    China mobile has 508,370,000 subscribers, also by wiki. Mostly noted the lack of zeros in your responce, your number is close enough when multiplied by 1,000.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    They list 513,466 subscribes as of the end of October. They only got permission to build a 3G network earlier this year so even if it was a completely compatible network it would be a waste for the iPhone to have that hardware when the 3G infrastructure isn?t built up yet.



    They could release a GSM device in the mean time. Basically like the original iPhone. That would likely sell in droves if you consider how much cheaper it is than the 3GS.



    From Wikipedia, but there are notations to the sources on the page...



    Note that Vodafone is the world?s 2nd largest mobile network operator and apparently owns 3.4% of China Mobile. Vodafone also owns 45% of Verizon and many other carriers. I wonder if you gave them the percentage of users based on their percentage of ownership if they?d be the largest mobile network operator.



  • Reply 11 of 14
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Brendon View Post


    China mobile has 508,370,000 subscribers, also by wiki. Mostly noted the lack of zeros in your responce, your number is close enough when multiplied by 1,000.



    Yes, I forget the three other zeros that makes a big difference. Though I didn?t get that data from Wikipedia. That was China Mobile?s website. They like to brag about it right on their main page. The number from Wiki is from the end of September. They seem to be adding 5M new subs a month.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    I doubt anybody would cough $1000 for an iPhone just run GSM on China Mobile. They are better off going with China Unicom. An even better deal is to buy an open HK iPhone for $800 and use the carrier of choice.



    Apple needs to supply the HK grey market with boat loads of the phones. Even provide support like warranty, software, etc. Then let the free market decide.



    you just don't get it.



    yes, you can get an HK iphone for $800, where can you get 3G service? if chine mobile has it, it is ok. but can they support iphone 3G? so far only chine unicom supports 3G iphone, authentic and grey market product. buying $1000 iphone in china, one would save more with their 3G service. i don't think any grey iphone user could get the good 3G service deal as that genuine iphone users could. so grey market iphone users will cough out another $3-400 for 3G service, unless they stuck to 2G mode. for iphone, without fast internet access, it is just piece of craps. further china unicom is using iphone hype to generate more push for its 3G network.



    free market? an iphone is sold in UK for 500 pound for a free iphone without contract. while in us it is about $600. the conversion rate is about 1 pound = 1.7 $. so UK resident should buy iphone from US instead of UK. i don't think massive iphone purchase in US by foreigners.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post


    free market? an iphone is sold in UK for 500 pound for a free iphone without contract. while in us it is about $600. the conversion rate is about 1 pound = 1.7 $. so UK resident should buy iphone from US instead of UK. i don't think massive iphone purchase in US by foreigners.





    Tariffs on foreign good being sold in certain countries can be quite high to encourage local sales. I?d wager China is pretty much at the top of the list.



    PS: In a somewhat related matter the PS2 has now officially launched in Brazil. Being sold for about $450 USD for a device that came out a decade ago. You can buy a PS3 with a 250GB HDD for $349.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Yes, I forget the three other zeros that makes a big difference. Though I didn?t get that data from Wikipedia. That was China Mobile?s website. They like to brag about it right on their main page. The number from Wiki is from the end of September. They seem to be adding 5M new subs a month.



    Whew... After I sent that I just knew you had actually meant iPhones on network, which could be closer to your number, in which case I would have made yet another tactical and grammatical error.
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