John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

China Unicom iPhone Sales Hit Record One Two-Hundredth of a Million

chinaiphoneWhat do you know: China Unicom just coughed up some first weekend sales numbers for the iPhone and…well, they’re not much to look at, despite what I said earlier. The carrier sold just 5,000, according to Reuters.

That’s nowhere near the one million iPhone 3Gs Apple (AAPL) sold in the first three days of the device’s launch in 2008. Nor is it the 13,500-a-day Apple sold during the first 74 days of the original iPhone’s debut. Disappointing to say the least — even if there are already an estimated 1.5 million to two million gray-market iPhones in use in China.

“We view the 5k units as soft,” Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a note to clients this morning. “Using the Jun-07 U.S. launch as a comparison we would have expected about 30k units….We originally thought China would contribute about 1-2m iPhones to our 36m unit estimate for 2010. The launch runrate of about 1,500 units per day would suggest 550k units per year.”

Nonetheless, Munster is maintaining expectations. “We are maintaining our overall numbers,” the analyst notes, “despite the soft China launch based on our belief that other wild cards remain for upside to our iPhone units in CY10 including the rollout to new carriers. We believe that eventually China will emerge as a major market for iPhone sales but it could take a year or two to gain meaningful unit traction as it did in the U.S.”

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