If you weren’t sure where all those off the grid iPhones are, it’s time to stop looking under the sofa and look towards China Mobile. According to telecoms analyst In-Stat, the operator has 400,000 of the Apple devices on its network – that’s one in every ten iPhones sold.
“We have never doubted that the iPhone will achieve greater success than iPod in China if Apple teams with China Mobile to launch its Chinese version. There are two reasons,” In-Stat said. “Firstly, different from the US where the smartphone market is fairly limited, appealing primarily to business users, The smartphone market in China, though, is an entertainment-oriented individual consumer market. The main reasons that Chinese mobile users purchase smartphones include entertainment (such as music players, cameras and video) and to access mobile Internet applications (such as IM, e-book, and games). We believe the iPhone will be favored by these consumers as it can better meet such demand. Secondly, high-end handset buyers significantly outnumber high-end mp3 player buyers.”
It seems the Chinese market can’t get enough of expensive mobiles: In-Stat also reckons that around 20 percent of all mobiles sold in China cost over 4000 yuan, or nearly £285, making around 28 million potential iPhone users in the country. Wow. No wonder Apple is rumoured to be in talks with China Mobile.