Apple's iPhone may not be selling as fast in China as it has in other countries, but China Unicom did manage to push some 5,000 units out the door during its first week of availability, according to Bloomberg. Currently, China Unicom is up against grey market iPhone sales that in some cases cost less than legit iPhones.
China Unicom's iPhone pricing has been seen my many as a problem for selling handsets. Pricing starts at 4,999 yuan (about US$730) for the 32GB iPhone 3GS and ramps up to 6,999 yuan (about $1,025) depending on which service plan users choose.
Grey market iPhone dealers sell the same handset for about 5,700 yuan (about $835) and include Wi-Fi support. Wi-Fi is missing from the current batch of iPhones China Unicom is selling because of government regulations that were in place when manufacturing began.
The higher prices may have kept the cell carrier from moving as many units as they would've liked, but it didn't stop people from lining up for the official launch a week ago. Lines at the company's flagship store in Beijing were 300 people deep, and shoppers lined up at Apple's store at the Village at Sanlitun, too.
Despite slow sales, Apple is expected to sell up to 460,000 iPhones in China annually.