iPhone 4 Launches In China; Greeted With Long Lines

iPhone 4 Bluetooth issue

Apple launched iPhone 4 in China yesterday – the world's largest mobile phone market with nearly 800 million subscribers.

Computerworld reports that over 1,000 customers lined up outside Xidan Joy City shopping mall to get their hands on the latest iPhone and one customer was waiting in the line for 2 days.

According to China Unicom, Apple’s exclusive carrier partner in China has reported that they have received pre-orders for 200,000 iPhone 4s.

Computerworld reports:

More than 1,000 people lined up outside Xidan Joy City shopping mall, where one of two new Apple stores opened in China Saturday. Some customers waited as long as two days to get their hands on one of the phones.

Those who waited the longest were allowed to sleep overnight in the shopping mall's hallway. While they waited in line Saturday morning, a few draped blankets around their bodies as others played cards or took photos of the large crowd with their cell phones. But those in line said it was well worth it.

Sun Jian Kuan, a 26 year old system engineer told a Computerworld reporter:

"It's like waiting in line to see a movie star. No phone can best the iPhone”

This is amazing if you compare it with the launch of iPhone 3GS last year. China Unicom had reported that they had sold a disappointing 5000 iPhones in the opening weekend.

But the following factors would have helped Apple pull off a successful iPhone 4 launch:

  • The Chinese government has eased regulations that restricted Wi-Fi access from handsets and instead encouraged the use of a homegrown wireless standard called WAPI. The iPhone 4 launched yesterday comes with Wi-Fi.
  • iPhone 4 is 10% cheaper. Last year, a contract-free 32GB iPhone 3GS sold for $1,033. This year's 32GB iPhone 4 is sold for 5,999 yuan ($905) without a contract. The 16GB model goes for 4,999 yuan ($754).

You can checkout the video of the long lines outside one of its new retail store in Beijing:

[via Computerworld]