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Unicom expects subscriber surge after iPhone launch

CHINA Unicom, the country's second largest telecom operator, is expecting a big rise in its subscriber number after it launched the country's first official sales of iPhone last night.

Analysts estimated today that the monthly rise will be 1.8 million in November, a sharp increase from September's 935,000.

Unicom started selling iPhones equipped with 3G service in 285 Chinese cities, hoping it will give an edge against its rival China Mobile, the world's biggest phone company by subscribers.

Up until the end of September, China Unicom has 140 million subscribers, much less than China's Mobile's 500 million.

Net profit of China Unicom hit 3.1 billion yuan (US$453.8 million) in the first nine months this year, according to the company's Q3 report released late yesterday.

Its Q3 profit stood at 909 million yuan. The company didn't provide the year on year ratio due to different comparable bases.


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