Sina Tech, 1/06/11
In the wake of China Unicom's (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) December announcement that it will regularly verify that iPhone smartphones are being used on bundled account SIM cards, rumors have circulated that China Mobile's (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) Chengdu branch in Sichuan province has been selling iPhone 4 handsets. Upon further investigation, however, it has been discovered that although Chengdu Mobile circulated newspaper ads promoting the iPhone 4, in actuality it has not made any iPhones publicly available.
One source close to Chengdu Mobile claimed that China Mobile did procure iPhone 4s and allocated the handsets to each county-level branch, but supplies are so limited that the phones are only used to retain VIP customers and are not available to the general public.
Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Chengdu Mobile Launches iPhone 4 Discount Promotion" MD 1/05/11 issue, and "China Unicom Cracks Down on iPhone Resellers," MD 11/29/10 issue.