China Unicom will start selling iPhones in China already next week. And it has already made them available for pre-order since the beginning of October.
But, at prices ranging from $730 for Wi-Fi less iPhone 3g 8GB, to $1000+ for an iPhone 3Gs 32GB, unsubsidized, it does not seem that China Unicom was happy with the initial demand.
The main reason? Imports of jail broken grey market iPhones to China. Where, according to some estimates, there already are 1.5 million of them. Bought at a prices, ranging from $430 for iPhone 3G 8GB to $730 for iPhone 3Gs. For a $300 mark-up, quite a few potential China Unicom customers are happy to overlook that they are not carrying the original.
So what now? Well, if you can’t beat them, join them, they say. And that’s exactly what China Unicom plans to do.
One of it’s subsidiaries – Shanghai Unicom – already said that they have an amnesty for the grey market iPhone users, who will be able to sign a contract and use all the services available to “legal” China Unicom customers. The amnesty to grey market imports will be extended to all China Unicom customers later.
Looks like a pretty smart move on behalf of Chinese carrier. They, after all, are not in the business of selling mobile phones. They are a communications service provider.
And, if the opportunity of not worrying about jailbroken software updates, hassle free iTunes sync, and access to the official app store gains them a few hundred thousand new lucrative 3G service customers, why the heck should they care were the phones are coming from?
Via: China Business Times
If you liked the post, you might find these interesting too:
- China Unicom to announce the iPhone today and launch it in October
- China Unicom sold over 100,000 iPhones since October
- iPhone 4S now available from China Telecom, cheaper than at China Unicom
- China Mobile launches microSIM card to lure grey market and China Unicom iPhone 4 customers
- China Unicom to launch iPhone on Oct. 15th. $293 for 8G, $439 for 16G on a 2 year, $27 a month contract