Apple 2.0

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China Unicom says it has more than 1 million iPhone contract users

November 24, 2010: 10:30 AM ET

Nearly three out of four switched from giant China Mobile, according to China's No. 2 carrier

Graphic: iPhonAsia

A Deutsche Bank note to clients issued Wednesday has culled several interesting Apple (AAPL) data points from Chinese-language reports:

  • China Unicom (CHU), Apple's exclusive iPhone carrier on the mainland, claims it now has more than 1 million iPhone contract users
  • 73% of those users are also China Mobile (CHL) subscribers, something the carrier knows because customers must provide their current number when they buy a new iPhone
  • 35%-38% of those dual users say that they will use both numbers for another 6 months, presumably to avoid early termination fees
  • The average return per iPhone user to China Mobile is 260 yuan ($39), compared with 134 yuan ($20) for 3G users and 39.8 yuan ($6) for 2G.
  • China Unicom is in talks with Apple to bring 3G iPads to the mainland. Currently government regulations restrict sales to the Wi-Fi only version.

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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