China Mobile sells iPhones, Unicom chases down phones' origin

10:07, December 01, 2010      

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Reports by National Business Daily (NBD) on Tuesday, showed that China Mobile is effectuating questionable sales of the iPhone, product only licensed to be distributed exclusively by China Unicom and Apple Stores. The gadgets were reported to be sold in Jinan, Shandong Province.

"China Unicom is the sole partner of iPhone in China currently. Only Apple Stores, China Unicom and its licensed distributors can sell iPhones. China Mobile is not a on the distributors list. China Mobile claims the phones are geniune and can enjoy excellent customer services from Apple Inc. It is very questionable the origin of China Mobile's iPhones," a China Unicom official said, according to the report..

According to the official, Apple denies it provides the company with the lots. And he said there are only two sources: China Mobile hires personnel to sign service contracts with China Unicom to get the phones and then resells them, or through smuggling.

He added also that only the phones sold at the above-mentioned certified sellers can enjoy quality assurances and after-sales services.

A customer service representative of China Mobile in Jinan told the Global Times that the three iPhone service bundles are still being marketed, targeting customers of its high-end brand "Gotone".

The three bundles, priced between 6,000 yuan ($900) and 7,800 yuan ($1,171), provide iPhone 3G 8GB, iPhone 4 16GB and iPhone 4 32GB models, enabling users to use the 3G iPhones with China Mobile's 2G network, according to the customer service representative. China Mobile requires users to sign three-year-long contracts with minimum monthly consumption fees varying from 238 yuan ($35.74) to 298 yuan ($44.74) in the period, said the customer service representative.

China Unicom warned evil-intentioned contracted users that the iPhones serviced by the company, found being utilized with other operator's SIM card for more than a month, will be locked.

He Zhengsheng, founding partner of Beijing Honor Base Law Firm, told the Global Times that China Unicom should first check the origin of the phones sold by China Mobile. And that even if proved the phones are from China Unicom, the behavior will be considered as illicit competition instead of illegal in China, said He.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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