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Chinese auction site sells five iPhones in two weeks

updated 01:50 pm EST, Thu December 3, 2009

Hints at persistently low iPhone sales

An official China Unicom online auction has so far yielded extremely poor iPhone sales, according to IDG News. The carrier recently opened an iPhone storefront at, a site described as a Chinese equivalent of eBay. Within its first two weeks the storefront is noted to have sold just five iPhones, including two 8GB 3G models and three 16GB 3GS editions.

While Chinese iPhone sales are otherwise uncertain -- Unicom avoids listing figures on its own website -- the Taobao numbers may indicate continuing problems. A mere 5,000 phones are reported to have been bought on launch weekend, in contrast to neighboring countries like South Korea, which saw some 65,000 in pre-orders alone. Cost is believed to be a primary problem, as the device is cheaper in surrounding countries, making the gray market far more appealing to many buyers.

The Unicom iPhone also lacks Wi-Fi at the moment, and credit cards are said to be either rare or scarcely used amongst target demographics, leaving little interest in the App Store. Unicom has nevertheless attempted to put a positive spin on trends, projecting that the iPhone will eventually represent 10 percent of all 3G devices in China. 3G is a new phenomenon in the country, having only become an option this summer.

by MacNN Staff





  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sad, sad times for the iPhone...

    I hope China doesn't turn out to be another India or Russia for the iPhone. I guess the pundits were right. The iPhone is too expensive for the Chinese smartphone user.

  1. nomimes

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is actually because of the estimated 3.5 million greymarket iphones that are already in china. The people who wanted them got them when they were first available. I believe these 5 people are just the ones who waited for a 'proper' and 'legitimate' purchase source.

  1. dliup

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Yeah I was about to say that. Most people in China who wants an iPhone and can afford it already bought them from the US and abroad.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    >> Most people in China who wants an iPhone and can afford it already bought them from the US and abroad.

    Oh you loser. Keep telling yourself that.

    People in China can see good value and won't buy into marketing hype. Not like those sheep in the US. You Americans will spend your hard earned cash based on some feel-good advertisement and flashy hardware. Ads played over and over will convince the mind of the weak. Say something often enough, they will believe it to be true. Just ask Joseph Goebbels.

  1. psdenno

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Sad news......

    Wrenchy Wrote:
    "Say something often enough, they will believe it to be true. Just ask Joseph Goebbels."

    Sorry to break the news, but Goebbels isn't taking any questions, currently. Your sense of history is about as accurate as your statement about the Chinese and the iPhone.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I often wonder who is paying people like wrenchy to troll sites for a platform they are neither liking or using, talking down a device they have never touched and used, with some puerile claim of 'Chinese knowing better value' - that would like saying 'chinese have better style and taste' or 'Chinese are more innovative'. Kinda amusing, but only in a very short, limited way, while demonstrating quite a bit of lack of clue on how the real world (and China) works.

    At first I though "oh look, testudo's got a new alias', but then quickly realized there are more than one village missing their idiot in the world.

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