iPhonAsia Comment: InStat analyst, Kevin Li, quoted in the article below, states that it would not be beneficial for Apple to sell iPhone through its future retail stores. Li apparently has not studied Apple’s new business model whereby iPhone 3G must be activated on the carrier’s network at the point of sale; hence most carriers will willingly subsidize the price regardless of the point of distribution. If China carriers do not subsidize iPhone (a distinct possibility as few handsets are subsidized in China) then the retail pricing will nevertheless be the same regardless of the point of sale – through carriers’ distributors or via Apple Stores in China (soon to open).
Li also believes that “3G iPhone will not be introduced until China has a WCDMA 3G network in place.” iPhonAsia believe that Li is mistaken on this point. While W-CDMA would allow iPhone 3G to run at full speed, the new model iPhone will be backward compatible to China Mobile’s GRPS/EDGE 2.5 G network. It will not be until after the Olympic Games that China’s MII will get around to issuing 3G licenses (TD-SCDMA, W-CDMA and CDMA2000) and it may be 2010 before a W-CDMA 3G network is constructed. China Unicom is the most likely to win a W-CDMA 3G license although it is possible that China Mobile will also be granted W-CDMA and TD-SCDMA. Recent developments suggest, however, that China Mobile will be forced to stick with TD-SCDMA. Neither Apple nor China Mobile want to push an iPhone in China launch out to 2010. The good news is that we will most likely have an iPhone launch in PRC well before 2010. A more interesting discussion point is whether we will see a special production run of next gen iPhone 3G (w chipset supporting CMMB mobile TV and TD-SCDMA) for China Mobile. iPhonAsia speculated a bit on this topic in a previous post, yet it may deserve a more detailed review in a future post. NOTE: TD-SCDMA support in iPhone remains a doubtful proposition, yet there is a case to be made for just such a scenario.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008 – 01:24 PM EDT“Approximately 1 million unlocked iPhones brought into China from overseas are being used on China Mobile Communication Corp.’s network, even though the iPhone has not officially made its debut in the world’s largest mobile phone market, an analyst said July 7,” Iris Hong reports for Interfax China.
“‘According to our statistics, approximately 1 million unlocked iPhones are running on China Mobile’s network now,'” Kevin Li, an analyst with In-Stat China specializing in telecom research, told Interfax,” Hong reports.
“The figure is surprisingly high considering that the iPhone’s total worldwide unit sales as of the end of March amounted to about 5.4 million units, according Apple statistics,” Hong reports.
“The number of unlocked iPhones used in China might be even larger, Li said, because iPhones are also used on China United Communications Corp.’s (China Unicom) network, but data on the number in use on the network is unavailable,” Hong reports.
See full article > HERE