Beijing Morning Post, 5/20/11
According to a source within China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH), Unicom currently has approximately the same number of iPhone users as China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK), 4 mln, but will surpass China mobile's iPhone users by the end of this year. Approximately 70% of China Unicom's iPhone users were previously subscribers of competing telecom operators.
Yesterday, China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) chairman Wang Jianzhou disclosed that China Mobile has more than 4 mln iPhone users.
Some industry analysts have pointed out that China Mobile subscribers' iPhones are almost entirely grey market smartphones and a fraction support 3G. Analysts estimate that in 2008, China had more than 1 mln grey market iPhones, the majority of which belonged to China Mobile subscribers.
During China Mobile's general shareholders meeting yesterday, Wang Jiangzhou said that China Mobile and Apple have agreed to release a TD-LTE version of the iPhone.
Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "China Mobile Has 4 Mln iPhone Users," MD 5/19/11 issue.