iPhone 4 lands in China; demand outweighs supply

Apple unleashed the iPhone 4 to the Chinese market over the weekend, prompting huge crowds to gather outside retail stores as pre-ordering was suspended due to demand.

China Unicom has exclusivity over the iPhone in China, selling the iPhone 4 with a two year contract for CNY4,999 (€555) for the 16GB model and CNY5,999 for 32GB. Pre-orders are understood to have hit 200,000 before shops opened on Saturday morning – the official launch day.

China has a mobile market of over 786 million subscriptions, with China Unicom accounting for over 157 million at the end of June. China Mobile leads the market with 554 million, while China Telecom brings up the rear with 74 million.

In related news, the European Commission has closed an antitrust investigation into Apple after the Californian firm relaxed restrictions on the development tools allowed to be used on its iPhone platform. Apple had recently released new developer terms for iPhone and iPad app developers, banning the use of cross platform compiling tools – effectively stopping apps running on multiple platforms. The company has now relaxed these requirements and the EC has dropped its case. A similar move by the FTC in the US is now expected to take place.

The European authority also welcomed Apple’s move to accommodate cross border warranties, so consumers who purchased their device in another country can still benefit from the warranty service within the EU.

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