Though no official deal with any Chinese carrier has been reached or(according to Steve Jobs) even being negotiated, this has not stopped China from getting their hands on what is estimated to be at least 400,000 unlocked iPhones. According to market research firm In-Stat, this number represents 10 percent of all touchscreen handsets sold to date.
Considering the lack of official support from any China based carrier, analysts were surprised by their findings. In-Stat expected the number of unlocked iPhones to be somewhere closer to 100,000 units, not the quadruple amount they discovered operating on China Mobile's network. Even more surprising, is this estimated amount represents more than a whopping one third of the entire supply of iPhones as of last month. If both sides can't reach an agreement soon, the potential losses from those nearly-all-gravy-data-plan-revenue-streams could reach billions of dollars by year end.
- Anthony James