China completely sold out of the iPhone 4

Tue, Dec 21, 2010


Apparently you just can’t beat the real thing. Despite a rightfully deserved reputation as a place overflowing with counterfeit and knockoff iPhones, the legit iPhone 4 is selling like hotcakes in the land of Yao.

The iPhone originally went on sale on September 25th in China and generated long lines at both Apple retail stores and China Unicom outlets as well. In the first four days the device was on sale, China Unicom handled over 200,000 pre-orders and actually sold 100,000 devices. By way of comparison, the iPhone 3G and 3GS both only moved a few thousand units when they first went on sale in the country.

And now comes from Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White, who recently visited China, that the iPhone 4  will not be available in Apple Stores or authorized resellers for two whole months.

“In fact,” white writes, “we estimate China Unicom has been unable to fulfill approximately one-third of the iPhone 4 orders due to shortages.”

Which is an auspicous sign as Apple’s inroads into China are still in the early stages. White notes that the high-end market for smartphones in China is about 100 – 125 million users, giving Apple tremendous room to grow. Indeed, the relatively untapped Chinese market is precisely why some analysts see Apple’s already high stock price growing by even more leaps and bounds. Currently trading in the $320 range, many analysts have recently up their stock target on Apple shares to the $400 level. China, writes White, gives Apple a “significant opportunity for growth in years ahead… We continue to believe that China remains in the early stages of catching ‘Apple fever.’

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