Say what you will about previous sales of the iPhone in China, but it’s overwhelmingly apparent that the iPhone 4 in China is a bonafide hit. The iPhone 4 launched in China this past weekend as thousands of interested shoppers lined up outside of Apple stores in anticipation. In the week and a half before the device went on sale, China Unicom processed over 200,000 pre-orders, and in the four days since the device has been available, 100,000 users have received their iPhone 4s – exhausting China Unicom’s supply in the process. Putting things into perspective, China Unicom sold only a few thousand units of the iPhone 3GS and 3G when they first went on sale last year.
Given the overwhelming and surprising demand for the iPhone 4, China Unicom was forced to stop all online reservations for Apple’s latest device. That said, consumers interested in the iPhone 4 must now physically be in an Apple Store if they want to get their hands on an iPhone 4.
China Unicom Vice President Li Gang told reporters on Tuesday that they’re expecting a new shipment of iPhone 4s to arrive in China on October 1.
”The level of smartphone usage is hitting a new level in China,” iResearch analyst Liu Lang observed. “A lot of users no longer want to use these older phones with few features and instead want to buy the latest models like the iPhone.”
With China Unicom still struggling to meet iPhone 4 demand, things are looking up for Apple after folks were skeptical that Apple would be able to succeed in the world’s biggest market due to both economic and cultural factors. But given that it took China Unicom nearly 6 weeks to sell 100,000 iPhone 3Gs and 3GSs, selling 100,000 iPhone 4’s in just a few days is all the more impressive and auspicious.