The AFP reports that the Chinese are sick of being last in the gadget-availability game, and go to great lengths to import high-tech items from the U.S. It’s a curious situation, given that they make much of it in the first place.
Plans to introduce the [iPhone] are conspicuously more advanced in West Africa than in China, the world’s largest mobile phone market, with more than 600 million cellphone users. … In the meantime, Chinese consumers are not waiting for Jobs. The country is widely considered the world’s biggest market for smuggled, “unlocked” and counterfeited iPhones. More than 500,000 first-edition iPhones made their way to China, or nearly a tenth of the phone’s global shipments of 5.2 million from June 2007 through March 2008, according to estimates from In-Stat.
Some estimates indicate 40 percent of all “unlocked” iPhones are in China.
It’s just like how the British import back their own spotted dick from the Moon. So ironic.