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China Unicom to sell Apple iPhone in May
[March 25, 2009]

China Unicom to sell Apple iPhone in May

SHANGHAI, Mar 25, 2009 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- China Unicom (0762.HK; 600050.SH; CHU.NYSE) confirmed Wednesday that it would start to sell Apple's iPhone in China on May 17.

China Unicom will see both chances and challenges if introducing iPhone to China, according to Gui Kai, an analyst from Guosen Securities.

By introducing iPhone, it will attract more clients, expand its market share and improve its business performance in a short term.

However, it might also have to give away large revenue share.

Wan Jinjin, an analyst from UBS Securities, said earlier in a report that China Unicom might have to shoulder a heavy burden, since iPhone is likely to be highly subsidized. Besides, it could limit the business expansion by setting a threshold of average revenue per user (ARPU) for its iPhone users.

According to Yi Difei, a China Unicom official in charge of news release, the company will start trial operation of commercial 3G business in 55 cities across the country on the same day. The concrete time for official operation depends on results of the trial operation.

Users need not to worry about shortage of terminals, since there are plenty of WCDMA phones on the market at present.

An insider from China Unicom said that all the WCDMA phones sold in China have been tested before and are qualified to be used for 3G services.

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