China Unicom, Apple’s wireless carrier in China, states that despite a slow sales start, it has high expectations for the iPhone.
The company anticipates the handset will carry 10% of China’s 3G users within three years.
A senior executive with China Unicom told China Daily that the nation’s second-largest carrier has seen great interest in the iPhone and believes interest will drive the iPhone to a 10% share of 3G devices in two to three years.
In addition, China Unicom Chairman, Chang Xiaobing, publicly said this week that he expects the iPhone to be the best-selling smartphone in China.
By the end of October, the carrier was reported to have 1.02 million total 3G subscribers, and officials expect to add another million each month.
AppleInsider said one issue for the iPhone in China has been its relatively high price of $1,024 for the high-end iPhone 3GS without a service contract.
Another problem is the Chinese iPhone’s lack of Wi-Fi.
The feature was left out because the government’s regulations temporarily banned Wi-Fi in favor of a rival native system. The ban was not relaxed until May, which was after manufacturing of the new iPhone began.
China Unicom officials have said they hope to have a new iPhone equipped with Wi-Fi available by the end of the year.