iphone 4 hits Beijing and China, Iphone 5 already kicking its ass and Apple being smart.

Yup, it’s finally here, officially! The iphone 4 will be legally available for purchase in Beijing and all over china presumable of September 25th as reported here and here.

With the official price at about CNY4999 for the base model, I would say it’s a relatively good reasonable deal as long as it is SIM unlocked which I’m not 100% sure off. The Hong Kong unlocked price is HKD 4988 which turns out to be about CNY4300. For such a high ticket item, I’m surprised at the small differential from apple.

At a difference of CNY500, when you factor in the risks of getting a fake or having to deal with waranty problems and what not, it’s actually worth it and reasonable in my opinion. The black market is gonna have a hard time adjusting to this one in Beijing and it’s gonna be interesting seeing how the prices go down ( if they do).

Considering both the mainland and the HK models should be the same in terms of features, I expect Zhingguancun shops to price themselves at the CNY 4500 range + a couple of accessories if they wanna make business. Having been an avid apple user for years and dealing with the pricing premiums in China, I’m quite happy about this new strategy! They’re definitely playing this one smart having learned from the fiasco that was the iPhone 3 Gs launch.

Talking about Zhongguancun, it looks like they’ve already moved on past the iphone 4 and into the iphone 5 as you can see from the listing below. It’s even climbing in popularity!

According to ZOL, this baby is supposed to be a 4G phone, slim profile, can cook breakfast, open a bottle of wine and even cook the perfect pizza. Heck, given all things Beijing/Chines and their love for PKs, I’m not surprised that they’ve already managed to enter said iphone 5 in a PK contest against the soon to be released iphone 4… how is that for being ahead of their times:

not a bad one if you can get your hands on it

4 Responses

  1. Jonah kessel says:

    I’ve heard you’ll need a two year contract with china unicom with it, which really confuses me. This is kind of a stupid question; but, can you have a phone bill in china? It’s not all pre-paid? Or, do you need to just commit to buying prepaid china unicom phone cards for two years? For expats that may or not be here for two years, what’s two stop you from just leaving? China unicom isn’t calling a foreign debt collector, right?

    Or, is this contract thing just not true … Wo uld love some more info on this one.

  2. Marc W says:

    Sir Daze!

    Apparently the phones are not allowed to be locked by law. And they’re all GSM/WCDMA , so will work in a lot of places too. Definitely a much better deal than I expected. Will probably be playing hooky on Saturday for a little while.

  3. Alex says:

    What’s the wifi situation on the iPhone 4? Will it be restricted/non-existant like the iPhone 3GS that came out previously?

  4. Beijing Daze says:

    @Jonah, they actually have a contract system, not just prepaid but I’m not sure if it is available to foreigners of not. The rates seem quite good and can be checked on China Unicom’s website.

    @Marc, yup..correctumundo. fully unlocked

    @alex, full wifi capabilities. It’s compliant with international WIFI and the Chinese WAPI thingy..