iPhone take-up in China has been disappointing, reports suggest.
According to business news provider Reuters, Apple’s Chinese network partner China Unicom has sold just 5,000 iPhones a week after the mobiles went on sale.
The disappointing showing has surprised industry experts who had forecasted that the massive market of tech-hungry Chinese consumers would welcome Apple mobile phones with open arms.
Factors thought to have impacted on the weak launch were a high unit price as well as the surfeit of iClones – that is counterfeit Apple handsets - and copycat phones available in China that emulate iPhone functionality and design.
Nonetheless, China Unicom has attempted to put a positive spin on the sales figures, with Chairman Chang Xiobing predicting an upturn once its 3G network is rolled out to areas where it is currently unavailable.
He said: "We are satisified with iPhone sales so far, and we aim to have an additional 1 million new 3G subscribers each month in the near future.”
iPhones have now sold some 17 million units across the globe, with the latest iPhone 3G S model expected to be especially in demand in the run up to Christmas.