Chinese carriers to cut iPhone subsidies with the arrival of new devices
Two Chinese cellular carriers are decreasing the subsidies for Apple new iPhone models over previous versions. Both China Unicom and China Telecom will carry the new phones, but both carriers are cutting the subsidies that they will offer with the phones, hiking up the price that customers will pay up front, according to Bloomberg:
A China Telecom monthly plan costing 289 yuan ($47) for the iPhone 5S carries a subsidy of 2,890 yuan, 15 percent less than the 3,400 yuan for the iPhone 5 on the same plan, according to Yip. Jacky Yung, a Hong Kong-based spokesman for China Telecom, declined to comment on Yip’s estimates.
China Telecom customers will need to pay 4,488 yuan for a 16 GB iPhone 5c, or around $730 U.S., off contract, with the 5s starting at 5,288 yuan, or around $860. Both phones are free up front with a two-year contract as long as the customer's plan starts at a certain price, with the cost of the phone being made up over the course of the contract. It's thought that China Unicom may have similar pricing for both phones. Unicom, the country's second-largest carrier, has announced that reservations for the new iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s have passed 100,000 units since Tuesday's announcement.