If you want to get the phone in China, it can be had at 6,999 Yuan ($1,024) before contract. Hong Kong's grey market is disposing of the phone for $800, still a solid hit to anyone's bank. Sales were hamstrung by the lack of Wi-Fi on the iPhone, as per China's ban on the standard.
Apple's epic failure is grounded in the sales figures released by Taobao.com, China's leading e-tailer and only distributor next to China Unicom. According to IDG News Service, since the phone launched on the site on November 22, only two 8GB models were sold, three 16GB models, and no 32GB versions of the phone. For a country so tech-hungry with over 1 billion residents, the nation's largest e-tailer sold 5 iPhones.
IDG says difficults can be blamed on the lack of Wi-Fi and the app store, which appeals to a small audience given the population's reluctancy to use credit cards in small transactions via mobile phone, as noted by Analysys International. China Unicom hasn't given up yet, though. 3G services went live last month with around 1 million subscribers. China Unicom hopes that the iPhone leads over 1 million new subscribers per month to next-gen service. They aim for 10% of its 3G subscriptions to be iPhone within 3 years from now.
In other news, South Korea's iPhone launch saw as much as 60,000 online orders, a staggering success against China's 5 sales.