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China Unicom to pass on the next iPhone, says too much subsidies and network upgrades are hurting

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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China Unicom to pass on the next iPhone, says too much subsidies and network upgrades are hurting
China Unicom was the first Chinese carrier to joyfully offer the iPhone 4 when it was introduced, signing a test 2-year contract with Apple in 2010 that expires next month. 

Unfortunately this hasn't turned out the bonanza it thought it would be, as huge subsidies for the device, and heavy investments in network infrastructure to cope with the surge in wireless data demand have damaged its bottomline.

That's why China Unicom is reported to pass on renewing the contract with Apple for postpaid sales of the iPhone 4S or the next iPhone, as it realized most of the profit has gone to Apple instead of to the carrier by the end of the contract. It is the second largest Chinese carrier, though, so if Apple signs up a juggernaut like China Mobile for the sixth generation iPhone, the China Unicom decision shouldn't make that much of an impact on its sales in that all important neck of the woods.

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posted on 17 Aug 2012, 05:30 7

1. Phullofphil (Posts: 801; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


Good, Its not like i dont like apple cause i do but it seems whereever the Ipone goes so does cutts in customer promotion insentive and other goodies such as earl upgrade for verizon after a year.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 05:40 9

2. Cyan3boN (Posts: 425; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)


u better act quick apple. thats the biggest subscriber market you are dealing with.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 05:56 8

3. Aeires (unregistered)


Dan Hess, you reading this?

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 06:23 7

4. QWIKSTRIKE (Posts: 915; Member since: 09 Mar 2010)


Agreed should have spent that money on rolling out LTE, and getting Phones like Nexus, and Galaxy S III

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 12:01

9. rla2680 (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


Sprint had no choice but to get the iphone. The timing is certainly questionable as they are very very late to the bandwagon and not benifiting from the device nearly as they would have they carried it earlier, but certainly was a necessary evil

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 12:22 2

10. Aeires (unregistered)


I don't buy the line that says a carrier has to have the iPhone to compete. Sprint has great pricing and their greatest asset is unlimited data. As Qwikstrike above commented, they should have focused on more important issues, like building a rock solid LTE network, especially when you look at how overshadowed their Wimax was compared to HSPA+ and Verizon's network.

The iPhone on Sprint could have waited a couple more years.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 12:33 1

11. rla2680 (Posts: 18; Member since: 17 Aug 2012)


do you think that would have been enough to hold off the millions of customers who were fleeing just to get the iphone among other things?

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 19:06 2

14. remixfa (Posts: 14175; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


when you look at how much Sprint has given to Apple to carry the iphone and how they basically and literally gave away ALL of their profit for the next few years to carry the phone, I think it was an idiotic "me too" move.

The money they spent would have been MUCH better spent on a faster, wider LTE roll out. They could have built out the LTE network with money left over for advertising for the money they spent on the iphone. Their network is slow as crap. Who cares about unlimited when its unlimited dial up speeds. Wimax is over saturated and junk for most sprint customers. The iphone was a bad move. LTE would have been the better move.
"Look we have LTE and unlimited everything for $110 a month with a smart phone!" is a much better line than "look, we now have the iphone like everyone else.. just slower!"

Their new $400 for new customer offer shows that they are still in desperation mode. The iphone obviously is not doing its "magic" trick they hoped it would do.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 06:42 3

5. MeoCao (unregistered)


The Chinese use iPhone as status symbol and don't use lots of data so if the carriers subsidize heavily the phone they will not get their money back what they can with the US users.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 07:10 4

6. smartphone (Posts: 160; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)


" the next iPhone " hmmm....
This may be the real name of the sixth gen iPhone.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 10:45 9

7. jmoita2 (Posts: 930; Member since: 23 Dec 2011)


I predict the next iPhone to be one of the biggest flops in the history of cellular. The simple reality is that they've been surpassed a long time ago, and every "new" version is more of the same with tiny,barely noticeable improvements. The iPhone will soon be where Blackberry finds itself. Due to their arrogance they sat on their laurels too long,believing their position as the "elite" was unassailable. Now all they do is play catch up, but not fast enough while at the same time trying to hold on to gigantic profit margins. A recipe for disaster...

posted on 18 Aug 2012, 00:39 1

16. MeoCao (unregistered)


So often people are blinded by their own greed.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 11:20 7

8. Sniggly (Posts: 7182; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It's amazing how often my predictions have been vindicated by the news.

posted on 18 Aug 2012, 00:36

15. MeoCao (unregistered)


Haha, b-c u r smart.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 13:35 4

12. rallyguy (Posts: 577; Member since: 13 Mar 2012)


I hope this is a trend. Each carrier takes on a huge burden for a phone that is good, but not great. The Iphone is a 5 year old truck with a new paint job and engine rebuild.

posted on 17 Aug 2012, 18:30 2

13. poojaroy (Posts: 52; Member since: 29 Apr 2012)


apple only want to fill their pockets that is the reality...once the carriers stop entertaining them ,apple will be lost in dust ....mark my words

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