China Unicom will begin selling the iPhone in China from next month – but the steep price tag it’s charging has set expectations of massive sales in the country back.

Meanwhile, South Korea’s KT Corp. continues in talks with Apple for release of the device in that country, but hasn’t set a ship date or price at this time, Reuters informs.

Back in China, China Unicom’s stock fell 5 per cent to a near three-week low after the carrier said it will begin selling iPhone in China next month. The stock decline was attributed to the high cost the carrier expects to charge, 5,000 Yuan, approximately $732.50, far higher than analysts had hoped for.

The high price tag could damage Apple’s chances of seizing a good slice of the world’s largest mobile market. Price is seen to have depressed iPhone sales in both India and Russia already, both territories industry observers had potentially seen as strong markets for the device. Once again, in both these markets, prohibitive prices have dampened actual take-up of the device.

With an estimated 15.8 per cent of the 140 million-strong Russian population living under the poverty line and an average per capita GDP of $15,800, the $1,000 Apple originally wanted to charge was just too high for the product to get the street appeal it has managed to generate elsewhere.

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