Waiting list for iPhone 4 extends to October-end

08:43, September 29, 2010      

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About 100,000 units of iPhone 4 have been sold within four days after its official launch in China and another 100,000 consumers who placed orders for these units will receive their phones by the end of next month, China Unicom, the official partner of Apple, said on Tuesday.

"The sales of previous versions of iPhones created a solid foundation for the explosive performance of the iPhone 4 this year," said Li Gang, senior vice-president of China Unicom. The shipment for the first day was over 40,000 units, according to the company.

China Unicom had received 200,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 since Sept 17. A 16-gigabyte iPhone 4 with a two-year contract is priced at 5,880 yuan ($878), while the 32-gigabyte model retails at 6,999 yuan.

"We have sold about 18,000 units of iPhone 4 since Sept 25, and more customers came to our store to place bookings," Fan Zhijun, vice-president of Suning Appliance Co Ltd, the largest electronics retailer in the nation, told China Daily.

Wu Fei, a 30-year-old white-collar worker in Beijing, thanked his lucky stars when he received a call from China Unicom that he could pick up his pre-ordered iPhone 4 from a China Unicom store.

"I pre-ordered the phone via the Internet on Sept 18," said Wu. "Once I received the call from the provider, I rushed to the store to pay and picked a 3G number for my new iPhone 4."

However, Luo Rongke was not so lucky. The engineer, who drops by China Unicom's store everyday to inquire about the delivery of his pre-ordered iPhone 4, was told to be patient.

"They told me that I still have to wait for it," said Luo. China Unicom's Li said that the pre-ordered iPhone 4 will be delivered to its owners by the end of October.

The company announced that it is waiting for the approval of the iPad 3G from the Chinese government. The iPhone hype is part of China Unicom's smartphone strategy.

Li said his company will launch more third-generation (3G) smartphones to boost its business in China and launch its own application store, which will go live next month. The online store, Wo Store, aims to provide an open platform for different standards.

China Unicom was granted a license to operate the wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA), a 3G technology in China, which was launched on Jan 7, 2009.

According to statistics released by China Unicom on Tuesday, the company's 3G users reached the 10 million mark from 9.5 million users in August.

"I am not satisfied with the speed and scale of 3G user growth of China Unicom - a mere 10 million for one year," said Li. He said operators need time to gain more 3G users and the 3G industry in China, though at an early stage, is expected to expand rapidly.

"We will stick to improving our 3G network this year, but the investment is not likely to surpass that of last year," said Chang Xiaobing, chairman of China Unicom. The company invested 36.4 billion yuan on its 3G network last year, while the figure declined to 23 billion yuan in this year's budget.

A subsidiary of China Unicom sold $1.84 billion worth of convertible bonds maturing in 2015 on Tuesday, as the company seeks to invest on expanding its 3G network.

Source: China Daily


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