According to a report by Reuters, one of China's three largest mobile operators, Unicom, has apparently signed a three-year contract with Apple to supply iPhones to the massive country.
Reuters is reporting that:
"Under the agreement, China Unicom will purchase iPhones from Apple for 3,000 yuan ($439) each and guarantee annual sales of 1 million to 2 million units and at least 5 billion yuan in annual revenue, the newspaper said."
Unfortunately, contract talks between Apple and China's largest mobile provider, China Mobile (also the world's largest with 471-million users!), broke down because of disagreements over revenue sharing.
Well, all I will say is that it's bloody well about time! It has always struck me as a little strange that the world's biggest country did not have an official iPhone provider, especially since it's the country that just happens to build them all! Now, finally, Chinese lovers of the iPhone will no longer have to resort to the grey market, a market which is believed to have provided the country with up to 2 to 3 million unofficial and hacked iPhones.
What's really nice is that Unicom's guarantee of a minimum of 1 to 2 million iPhones per year should also guarantee Apple at least an extra $878-million in extra yearly revenue. This, in turn, should also help provide Apple's stock with a nice little lift at the end of the day. With an extra couple of million iPhone sales per year, these minimum Unicom sales could easily more than exceed those that Palm hopes to sell for it's iPhone killer, the Pre!
So take that Palm!
Of course, minimum is minimum, and there's no reason why Unicom can't maximize it's sales of iPhone's in such a massively populated country like China . And who knows, maybe they can even be able to double or triple those minimum numbers? If this is the case, then wowsie, wow-wow, because Apple's already high-flying stock could virtually explode into the stratosphere yet again!
Now if only I had a bucket full of Apple shares to call my own, because that would definitely be one of the sweetest iPhone calls that one could ever hope to make.
And that's my 2 cents 4 this Tuesday, July 28, 2009