Apple iPhone officially arrives in China for a higher price and no Wi-Fi

November 1, 2009, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Apple’s iPhone has officially embarked on its China jaunt, with China Unicom- the country’s second largest telecom operator after China Mobile – starting to sell the smartphone there.


Two versions of the iPhone have arrived in China. The sale began after China Unicom entered into a three-year deal with Apple. For Apple, the agreement could prove to be big considering that China is the world’s largest mobile market. However, prices might be a put off .

China Unicom has showcased the two versions of the iPhone after attaching price tags ranging from 4,999 yuan (close to $732) for the 8GB 3G model to 6,999 yuan (around $1,025) for the 32GB 3GS phone.  Though the pricing seems a bit on the higher side, it is believed that the iconic smartphone might yet find high-end buyers, going by the enthusiasm that has been witnessed a stores for the past two days. Apart from the price deterrent, another factor that might prove bad for China Unicom and Apple at the sales counters is the unavailability of Wi-Fi on the iPhone. Government regulations in China in this regard make the iPhone devoid of Wi-Fi capability. However, as if in a measure to keep customer interest intact, China Unicom has said it would offer Wi-Fi-enabled iPhones in a few months’ time.

Spot reports say sales have begun in as many as 285 cities. It has also been found that die-hard enthusiasts are also looking at cheaper, cracked, gray-market iPhone models at local electronics stores. Some are even importing them from overseas markets.

It remains to be seen whether Wi-Fi enabled iPhones would indeed make it to China stores soon. Also, the pricing factor too needs to be addressed if Apple would want to look at pocketing the largest mobile mart with its smartphone.

(Via CNetNews)

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