China's Largest E-Commerce Store Has Sold Only Five iPhones

IDG News Service reports that a China Unicom iPhone store on Taobao.com, China's largest e-commerce site, has sold only five iPhones in the two weeks since it began offering the device's for sale. Taobao.com is similar to eBay in that it serves as an online auction site but also connects other sellers such as retailers and wholesalers with customers.

An official iPhone store on Taobao.com, the biggest Chinese e-commerce Web site similar to eBay, has sold just two 8GB iPhones and three 16GB iPhones, according to figures on the site. The store launched in the middle of last month, a few weeks after China Unicom began offering the first official iPhones in China.

The news follows reports of very meager sales of the iPhone in its initial launch weekend on China Unicom. Factors cited in the slow sales include competition from unlocked iPhones from other countries that, unlike the current Chinese versions, offer Wi-Fi connectivity, and a lack of widespread credit card usage, a necessity for App Store purchases.

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