Apple iPhone released in China at high price tag

The iPhone goes on sale in China today but anyone that wants one will have to pay a hefty price.

A 32GB iPhone 3GS will ship at $1,024, courtesy of China Unicom, but without any kind of service plan.

The Wall Street Journal reports that with a two year service plan the bund;e will cost $3,120, more than $500 more than a similar package in the USA.

The price tag is likely to make the iPhone popular only with the super rich – there are many smartphones available in China which cost considerably less.

The WSJ says that the average amount spent on a smartphone in China is $350, with 11 million smartphones sold in 2008.

The iPhone in China ships without wi-fi because the Chinese government wants to push a competing standard. But it is expected to be offered with standard wi-fi later this year. China eased the ban in May but the first machines had, apparently, already been built.