Apple’s (AAPL) iPhone is finally selling in China legally today. It’s available in 2,000 stores around the country, according to the AP.
There’s just one hitch. It doesn’t have WiFi. China had a ban on WiFi enabled devices, which it lifted after phones were already being manufactured says 9 to 5 Mac.
Because the market for knock-off iPhones, or unlocked iPhones with WiFi, is strong, this could hinder sales.
Chinese consumers might not shell out for an inferior, and in some cases, more expensive product. The 32 gig iPhone is selling for 4,999 yuan ($730) to 6,999 yuan ($1,025). On the streets the phone, with WiFi, can be had for just 5,700 yuan ($835).
Reports suggest China Unicom, Apple’s official partner, is commited to spending $1.5 billion to buy 5 million iPhones in the next three years.
China Mobile, the number one carrier in China, says there’s already 1.5 million-2 million unlocked phones in the country.