Apple plans on releasing the iPhone 4 in Chinese retail stores on Sept. 25. The iPhone 3GS sold only 5,000 units within its first few days of Chinese release in 2009, likely due to factors such as high price.
Apple will release the iPhone 4 in Chinese retail stores starting Sept. 25.
The release will coincide with the openings of Apple
Store Hong Kong Plaza
in Shanghai and Apple
Store Xidan Joy
City in Beijing.
The unlocked 16GB iPhone 4 will retail for the equivalent of $743, and the
32GB model for the equivalent of $892, according to a
Sept. 19 statement posted on Apple's Website
. China Unicom will apparently
offer the smartphone to "qualified buyers" with a new two-year
Apple likely hopes that the iPhone 4 will perform better in the Chinese
marketplace than the iPhone 3GS, which officially sold only 5,000 units in the
days following its October 2009 release via China Unicom. "We believe that
eventually China will emerge as a major market for iPhone sales, but it could
take a year or two to gain meaningful unit traction as it did in the U.S.,"
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told
Bloomberg at the time
vendors," who resell smartphones purchased abroad at inflated prices, are
a factor weighing down those official sales numbers. Many of those vendors also
traffic in cheaper counterfeit devices. The iPhone 3GS' reported selling price
of around $1,172 was another factor likely affecting sales.
Despite those headwinds, the iPhone 3GS had sold around 100,000 units
through China Unicom by the end of 2009, according
to reports circulating online
. By contrast, the iPhone 3GS sold more than 1
million units within its first three days of release in the United
States, while the iPhone 4 sold roughly 1.7
million during that same period.
Chinese iPhone 4 will join the WiFi-only version of the iPad
, released in
that country Sept. 17. The 16GB version of the iPad retails in Apple Retail
Stores and authorized resellers for the equivalent of $589, the 32GB for $708
and the 64GB for $826. That represents a premium over the pricing in the United
States, where the 16GB retails for $499, the
32GB for $599 and the 64GB for $699.
Both the iPhone and iPad face increased competition from other manufacturers
determined to carve off their own piece of the smartphone and tablet markets.
Many of those competing devices, including the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Tab, run
some variation of the Google Android operating system. Morgan Stanley analyst
Katy Huberty expects that sales of tablet PCs will reach 50 million in 2011.