I am truly puzzled as to why Apple hasn’t gotten with the program and released the ever-popular iPhone in China by now. Evidence has been piling up since the device’s launch that the Chinese and begging for the opportunity to get their hands on a device, but Apple has just turned a deaf ear to their requests. A recent study by US research company Pearl Research shows just how much the Chinese- especially existing Apple product owners- want to use the iPhone. The study shows that 88% of iPod users in China are interested in buying and iPhone. With such a massive user base eager to purchase their product, it’s a downright shame Apple isn’t cashing in on this opportunity. Seriously, Apple, what more of a motivation do you need?
iPhonAsia Editorial Comment (posted on iPhone Matters site):
Patience shall be rewarded … While China is important, better that Apple make the right deal with the right partner at the right time.
China’s telecom industry is in the midst of a major restructuring that IMHO has had an impact on Apple’s China carrier negotiations. The restructuring is now moving forward and official announcements may come soon after the Olympic Games. Once the dust settles (3rd or 4th quarter 2008), China Mobile will have serious 3G competitors.
The newly constituted China Telecom (acquiring China Unicom’s CDMA division) may obtain CMDA2000 and/or W-CDMA 3G licenses. This makes China Telecom a viable partner for Apple.
China Unicom might be in the mix of potential Apple partners…. Post restructuring, China Unicom will be a reinvigorated competitor to the behemoth China Mobile. China Unicom will be released from the burden of operating dual networks (GSM and CDMA) and will focus exclusively on GSM. There was an article today in CTI about China Unicom (moving ahead of restructuring) now spending large sums to build out their GSM capabilities … see >http://www.chinatradeinformation.net/china-trade-news/china-unicom-spending-heavily-on-gsm.html
And don’t count out China Mobile as a partner … post restructuring, they may find new motivation to talk seriously with Apple. More here …https://idannyb.wordpress.com/2008/04/01/apple’s-china-iphone-partner/
DUAL LAUNCH (locked and unlocked)
Finally, consider that in China, Apple may (or perhaps not) follow a dual distribution strategy … a locked-to-carrier and a premium-priced unlocked iPhone (ala Apple’s carrier deal with Orange in France). See > Apple is open to new business models
Official unlocked iPhones can be sold in China through Apple Stores (Sanlitun, Qianmen and more to follow) and many Apple authorized resellers. Apple can also sell iPhone in China online and possibly through other China electronics/wireless distributors such as D-Phone and Shenzhen Aisidi.