By Zhu Shenshen | 2012-9-25 | ONLINE EDITION
CHINA Unicom kicked off new mobile numbers starting with "185" in Shanghai today in preparation of iPhone 5's debut in the Chinese mainland.
China Unicom, which has already provided free nano-SIM cards for iPhone 5 since Saturday, will provide the new 185-code to contracted iPhone 5 users once the phone hits the domestic market. Other 3G users can also subscribe to 185 numbers starting from today.
"The new mobile numbers are designed for high-end 3G users, including iPhone 5 users in future," said Deng Xuan, vice general manager of China Unicom's Shanghai branch.
To date, more than 30 people have applied for the new nano-SIM cards designed specifically for iPhone 5 at a Unicom store near Shanghai Railway Station, Shanghai Daily learned today.
Apple Inc sold a total of 5 million iPhone 5s within three days since it became available in regions including Hong Kong, United States and Australia.
Many Chinese mainland consumers have also purchased the phone from overseas markets although it's not available in the domestic market.
China Unicom, the country's No. 2 mobile carrier, added 3.07 million 3G users in August to have a total of 63.68 million 3G users by the end of last month.
The local carrier also announced plans to cut the price of iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S by 500 to 1,000 yuan (US$158.7). Apart from iPhone 5, China Unicom also kicked off a dozen new low-cost contract phones, including models for less than 600 yuan. Phone makers that partner with China Unicom include Samsung, Nokia and home-grown brands like Lenovo, Huawei and Tianyu.