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Report: Over 400,000 iPhones on China Mobile

updated 11:05 am EST, Mon February 18, 2008

400,000+ iPhones in China

As many as 400,000 or more iPhones are already operating in China, according to a report issued by In-Stat. The research firm cites figures from China Mobile, the country's largest cellular carrier, which claims that the 400,000 figure was reached by the end of 2007, representing a full tenth of all iPhone shipments confirmed by Apple. In-Stat notes that this is four times what it had expected to find.

The difficulty for Apple is that the iPhone is not officially on sale in China, and therefore any phones in the country must be unlocked and imported from other regions. Apple still benefits from this in terms of increased unit sales, but it may mean decreased numbers when the phone makes its official debut, and less shared revenue from whichever carrier Apple chooses to partner with.

Although Apple has shown signs of wanting the iPhone in China by the end of 2008, the company has so far made no progress in terms of negotiations. Talks with China Mobile in fact broke off in January, allegedly over Apple's insistence on revenue sharing, a practice not typically welcomed in China. Apple's only alternative is China Unicom, which is smaller than Mobile but is the only other national carrier in the country.

by MacNN Staff



  1. bobolicious

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not welcomed by anyone...

    ...but Apple it would seem - too bad Apple couldn't find some other revenue stream like clickthrough ads &/or just sell the darn thing unlocked & 'be happy'...

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One has to wonder...

    What the cost of an iPhone really is. ie would Apple go bust if it sold 100 million iPhones and no one went through the official carriers?

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    nothing like...

    Apple inadvertantly getting their foot in the China's Door_

    Good for business when/if they expand there_ Might be the start of the downfall of the Communist regime there_

    @bobolicious - they at least made money on the sale of the phone_ That still ballparks them $1.6 Million in revenue_ Yeah_ Sucks to be Apple_

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969



    My bad! Forgot the zeros_

    $400 each x 400,000 units = $160,000,000 revenue_

    Still sucks to be Apple_

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