China Unicom Provides Free iPhone 4S with Contract Plan

China Unicom has recently unveiled an enticing offer for its subscribers: a complimentary iPhone 4S with a multiyear service agreement. This announcement comes just a week after the initial launch of the iPhone 4S in China and other countries.

The deal gets even more appealing.

Subscribers can opt for a 32 GB iPhone 4S with a three-year contract for just 286 yuan (approximately US$45) monthly, or choose a two-year contract for the 16 GB model at 386 yuan per month.

However, some market experts are skeptical about the sustainability of such a subsidy. Steven Liu from Standard Chartered Bank expressed concerns in a Bloomberg report, stating, “After subsidizing the iPhone, the operator will have less money for subsidizing other smartphone users that could be more profitable.”

In the first half of 2011, China Unicom’s expenditure on 3G phone subsidies and marketing was nearly 6 billion yuan, a significant increase from the same period in 2010.

Despite the high costs, the allure of popular iPhone models continues to grow, with less interest in lower-priced, less capable smartphones.


George is a dedicated writer for TUAW, your go-to source for all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, George brings the latest news and insights on Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Apple Watch. His articles are both informative and engaging, making complex tech topics easy to understand. When he’s not writing, George enjoys exploring new apps and testing out the latest gadgets.