Mobile operator China Unicom said Tuesday it aimed to boost the number of its 3G mobile phone subscribers in China by one million per month, following its launch of Apple's iPhone there.
Chairman Chang Xiaobing said Unicom had more than one million 3G, or third generation, subscribers in the world's biggest cell phone market at the end of October, having launched 3G services there at the beginning of the month.
The company also said it currently had 5,000 iPhone users. On Friday it started selling Apple Inc.'s iconic device in China for around 5,000 yuan (732 dollars), more than two years after its US launch.
Chief financial officer Tong Jilu said the company expected its 3G operating expenses, which include all handset subsidies and advertising expenses, to account for 30 percent of total 3G revenue in 2010.
Unicom had earlier said it hoped to sell five million of Apple's smartphones in three years in China, but experts have questioned how realistic that goal is in the world's biggest market for smuggled, "unlocked" and counterfeited iPhones.
China had nearly 720 million mobile phone users at the end of September, according to government data.
(c) 2009 AFP
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