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Chinese iPhone sales 'disappointing' says analyst

updated 01:30 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010

New pricing, tech should improve situation

Sales of Chinese iPhones have been "somewhat disappointing," says Morgan Keegan's Travis McCourt. The analyst claims that while the smartphone market has "exploded" in China during 2010, growing 200 percent year-over-year, Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM sold less than 500,000 phones last quarter. BlackBerries, in fact, are still only being sold to government and businesses in the country, according to McCourt. Apple and China Unicom have not officially announced recent iPhone numbers.

The lion's share of growth is said to be coming from phones based on the Android platform. Some 50 percent of the smartphones sold in China last quarter were Android models, particularly significant since the platform didn't register in the country a year ago. Nokia's marketshare is noted to be rapidly deteriorating from the 70 percent it achieved in 2009, although revenue is still increasing.

McCourt nevertheless suggests that iPhone sales should "rapidly improve" in the near future. China Unicom has lowered prices, he comments, and local iPhone technology has caught up with the rest of the world. All models now have Wi-Fi as well as 3G, and the iPhone 4 became available in September. Unicom is reportedly struggling to match iPhone 4 demand.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Analysts are definitely going to find some

    way or another to churn Apple's share price. The higher-end iPhone is somehow expected to match lower-cost Android smartphones sold by multiple vendors in unit sales. I doubt that's going to happen any time soon.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Those who want iPhone were already using it long b

    Those in China who are able to afford the iPhone 4 already bought them back in June of 2010 and hacked the phone. Of course no one is buying. The number of iPhone 4 users easily out-number the 'official' sales figure 1000X.

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    @ Paul Huang

    Exactly. Those who can afford it would have already purchased it.

    With the limited disposable cash these days, it's optimistic that a high-priced phone will sell "like hot cakes" in a place like China or anywhere else with little disposable income.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    iPad is the same story

    I have ordered dozens of iPad and sent them to friends in China. Thanks to Mac Connection, I was able to buy them without paying a dime of sales tax. iPhone 4? They buy them unlocked from Hong Kong. Some buy it in the US and pay a hefty fee for breaking the contract.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thank you Google (and Wallmart)....

    Our foriegn debt continues to rise thanks to companies like Google. Android exists solely so Google can sell ads. The os is availabile to every man and his dog so where the US benefits for every iPhone sold overseas the US gets nothing for Android devices (not even ads as that functionality is replaced in countries like China). Thank you have managed to place yourself alongside Wallmart for reducing the US tech industry to the lowest denominator by selling out your own industry (except your industry is really advertising not tech).

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