The iPhone Is Coming To China

Posted Aug 28, 2009

China Unicom and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) have made a deal to sell the iPhone in China.  That is great news for Apple iPhone developers because their customer base grow even bigger.  Currently in China, there are about 687 million wireless subscribers.

The iPhone will be sold in China in the fourth quarter.  And the China Unicom and Apple deal has been signed for about a 3 year contract.  According to The Wall Street Journal China Unicom will not be sharing revenue with Apple but will buy them on wholesale and resell it to consumers.

The good news for Chinese consumers is that China Unicom will be subsidizing the phone.  But there is no word on how much it will be subsidized.  India on the other hand does not currently have any subsidizing phone making it harder for consumers there to afford it.

China Unicom has about 141 million subscribers as of this past July.  China Unicom hopes to attract more high-end consumers.  China Unicom will be rolling out a 3G network now.  The 3G network will be launched by September 28.

One of the problems with launching the iPhone in this market is that there are already a good number of iPhone owners in China.  About 1.5 million iPhones are floating around China that have been bought from overseas and have been jailbroken.