2nd Class iPhone for 2nd Class Chinese Citizens at 1st Class Prices - The UpStream

2nd Class iPhone for 2nd Class Chinese Citizens at 1st Class Prices

posted Saturday Oct 31, 2009 by Jon Wurm

2nd Class iPhone for 2nd Class Chinese Citizens at 1st Class Prices

It's been a long time since the first release of the iPhone in June 2007. So why are we still talking about it? Despite all the time that has passed the 3rd generation "Jesus Phone" has made a glorious second coming in the Peoples Republic of China. O capital? Well no not really because the Chinese edition is somewhat lacking in the hardware division. It appears it will not be equipped with the ever so popular WiFi feature that we here in the U.S. have all grown to love because it allows us an outlet from the oppressive 5GB cap most major carriers have put into place. The stated reason for the lack of WiFi is that until May of this year the Chinese government placed a restrictive ban on WiFi as it was trying to push a state developed competitor to the technology and Apple hopes to put out iPhones that have the glorious feature by the end of the year. So how do Chinese consumers who have long awaited the coming of the Jesus Phone feel about the all this?

Yang Yi, a physician at the Chinese capital's Peking Union Hospital, said

There are not so many WiFi hotspots around the country anyway.

Zhang Yuan, a 25-year-old Beijing magazine editor said,

I have been an Apple fan for a long time," she said. "I wouldn't choose a counterfeit or unlocked phone because I wouldn't trust the quality.

Ok, so they don't seem to broken up about the high phone bills that will result from the fact that the iPhone uses data for everything and I'm sure that as a reprieve Unicom, one of China's 3 largest communication companies, will offer it at a bargain price... nope. The 8GB model starts at $730 USD and the 32GB models is $1,025 USD. Both these prices are a 20% markup from black market prices for 3G Iphones with WiFi. This is what Unicom had to say,

Song Limei, deputy general manager of Unicom's personal communication division, said at the launch ceremony,

We're not just offering the hardware, the handset, but post-sales support and a whole package of services.

Well there you have it. Personally I would say that Unicom and Apple are a good business match since they both like to overcharge their customers and offer them less. Tell us what you think.

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