After passing the gruesome world of Chinese certification bodies
, the iPhone 4S will arrive in the world's most populated country tomorrow. Apple sold gear for nearly $5 billion in China in Q3 of last year, and Tim Cook reiterated what an important market it is becoming for Cupertino, expecting sales there to have been through the roof in the holiday quarter.
And the trend will seemingly continue - reports are that thousands of people have already lined up in front of Apple's retail stores in China's big cities, waiting for the clock to strike twelve, so they can be one of the first official owners of the iPhone 4S
there. The Apple Stores in China are some of the most heavily trafficked in the world.
Friday the 13th is as good a day as any for a launch, they figured, and China Unicom's heavy subsidy is undoubtedly helping - customers will be paying ~$60 a month for the 16GB phone and a two-year plan. If they want the 32GB version, $45 a month will span to three years of tie-up with the carrier.
Analysts estimated that China Unicom started losing money on the two-year, $45 a month contract for the iPhone 4 that it had last year, that is why it had added the additional year for the 32GB model this time around.