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iPhone 4 in scarce supply in China, says analyst

updated 09:40 am EST, Tue December 7, 2010

iPad, MacBook Air also in demand

The iPhone 4 is perhaps the most difficult Apple product to find in China, claims a Ticonderoga Securities analyst, Brian White. Continuing a tour of the country, White notes that local wait times for the iPhone 4 are now closer to two months; he suggests that official carrier China Unicom is unable to fill roughly a third of pre-orders. Unmentioned by the analyst is the effect of scalping, since it's believed that many of the iPhones being sold are being picked up for resale with a markup.

He does however comment that many iPhones are showing up on China Mobile, which is not an official partner with Apple. About 2 million iPhones are estimated to be on the Mobile network, and the carrier is actually helping some people to make the transition through a website, which shows how to trim a SIM card to fit the iPhone 4's micro SIM slot. White says he has been told by Mobile that the carrier is planning to make a natively compatible SIM.

Two other products -- the iPad and the 11-inch MacBook Air -- are also noted to be selling well in China, though they're not in as much demand as the iPhone. Cost is likely a factor, as even the iPhone hardware can be extremely expensive relative to the average Chinese worker's salary. The iPad and the Air could in some cases serve as primary home computers.

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    They build the iPhone in China so they

    should reach the Chinese population faster than that. What do they do? Ship them to the U.S. first and then ship them back to China?

  1. Nameci

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is not the way that we think it is.

    Foxconn is on a special export economic zone which enjoys tax benefits from the government. The products made on those zones are for export and could not be sold locally. So before it could be locally sold in Mainland China, it should go out of the economic zone, shipped to the parent company and shipped to China and the chinese government could get their share of the customs duties.

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