Apple's wireless carrier in China on Friday expressed its high expectations for the iPhone despite the relatively low sales since its debut, hoping the handset to attract 10 percent of China's 3G users in the in the next three years.
A senior executive from China Unicom told China Daily that the country's second-largest carrier has seen great interests in the iconic brand. The company expects the iPhone to attract over 10 percent of China's 3G users in two to three years, according to the executive who declined to be named.
Moreover, China Unicom's chairman Chang Xiaobing said on Tuesday that he expects the iPhone to be the best-selling smartphone in China.
China Unicom has only seen 5000 subscribers totally since the iPhone's China debut in late October, raising concerns that the price of is too high to attract 720 million users in the world's biggest mobile phone market.
The Unicom executive, however, noted that pricing is very reasonable for those who spend heavily on their phone bills every month. An iPhone without contract costs as much as 6,999 yuan ($1,025) in China while the same phone takes only $800 in the gray market in Hong Kong and $299 in the United States.
China Unicom has 1.02 million 3G subscribers as of the end of October, and officials expect to add another million each month.
But iPhone China Unicom offers is Wi-F--disabled as the government banned Wi-Fi for a rival native system. The regulation was lifted in May.
The officials from China Unicom said they hope to offer iPhone with Wi-Fi by year end.