updated 03:15 pm EST, Mon December 20, 2010
Sales 'well above' iPhone 3GS so far
The iPhone 4 is still doing very well in China, says Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. "We continue to believe that China remains in the early stages of catching 'Apple fever' and demand for iPhone 4 has been well above the ramp of the iPhone 3GS thus far," he comments. He adds that the iPhone 4 is "sold out for two months" every where it's officially available in China, including Apple Stores, authorized resellers and carrier China Unicom.
"In fact, we estimate China Unicom has been unable to fulfill approximately one-third of the iPhone 4 orders due to shortages," according to White. Not discussed though is the impact of scalpers, who have tried to beat ordinary shoppers to the punch for the sake of imposing markups. Before tight sales limits were imposed, scalpers would buy several iPhones at a time, making stock scarce for legitimate customers.
White meanwhile points out that the Chinese cellphone market continues to grow as a whole. The number of local subscribers rose 1.1 percent last month to 833 million, beating out a global increase of 0.7 percent. 3G subscribers grew 10 percent at China Mobile and China Unicom, though Mobile remains dominant with 18.83 million in November.