Chinese iPhone Sales "Disappointing," Perhaps Because iPhone Not Yet on Sale in China
“Sales of iPhone through China Unicom, to state it mildly, have been disappointing. Volumes since launch have run at a fraction of stated goals.”
So says Northeast Securities analyst Ashok Kumar, who, in a research note to investors this morning, warned that Chinese sales of the iconic handset are not nearly as good as expected. Certainly, they’re nowhere near capturing the full two percent share of the Chinese wireless market that some observers have predicted. Which I suppose makes perfect sense because the iPhone hasn’t yet gone on sale in China.
Let me say that again: The iPhone is not yet available for purchase in China from China Unicom or any other carrier–at least, according to Apple (AAPL), which is presumably in position to know. So how is it that Northeast Securities is issuing bulletins warning of lousy sales? I have absolutely no idea, but I’m looking into it and will update here when I find out more.
UPDATE: Kumar tells Eric Savitz over at Tech Trader Daily that his analysis is based on presales of the device, which have been occurring since Oct. 1. Reports Savitz: “[Kumar] says that Unicom has set a goal of selling 300,000 phones a month, which would be a little under 75,000 units a week; and he says that pre-sales in the first few days of availability were extremely low, at around 1,000 units.”
Huh. Okay. Though even taking Kumar at his word, it seems like quite a stretch to extrapolate “disappointing sales” from a few days of presale availability.
UPDATE: Nice analysis of all this from Dan Butterfield at iPhonAsia.