Apple kicks off China iPhone 4 sales Saturday
Prices range from $743 to $1,024 without a contract
Computerworld - Apple on Monday announced that it will launch the iPhone 4 in China on Saturday.
The new smartphone will be sold in Apple's four retail stores -- including the new Beijing and Shanghai locations opening that same day -- and in the storefronts of China Unicom, the country's second-largest 3G mobile carrier.
Apple has priced the iPhone 4 without a contract for 4,999 yuan for the 16GB model ($743) and 5,999 yuan ($892) for the 32GB model.
Apple kicked off sales of the iPhone 4 in the U.S., France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. last June, then followed with another 18 markets in late July.
State-owned China Unicom began taking pre-orders for the iPhone 4 last Friday. According to reports by several publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the company claimed it logged more then 50,000 orders on opening day.
China Unicom will sell the 16GB iPhone for 5,880 yuan ($874) and the 32GB model for 6,999 yuan ($1,024) without a contract. Most Chinese consumers purchase smartphones without a long-term service contract.
Consumers who buy an iPhone 4 and commit to a two-year deal with China Unicom pay between 1,799 yuan ($267) and 4,799 yuan ($713), depending on the iPhone 4 model and the monthly service fee.
In the U.S., an iPhone 4 costs $199 to $299 with a two-year AT&T contract.
The iPhone 4 will be Apple's first smartphone to handle Wi-Fi connections in China from the time of its launch. China Unicom only began selling iPhone 3GS phones with Wi-Fi enabled in August , 10 months after it launched the older model.
Apple started selling the iPad in China last Friday, with prices running from 3988 yuan ($587) to 5588 yuan ($823).
Apple sells the iPad in its retail stores in China as well as at some authorized resellers. The company does not sell its products in China through an online store.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter @gkeizer, send e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed .
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