China Unicom has stopped taking orders for the iPhone 4 after being swamped by customers seeking the new phone when it went on sale on the weekend.
Unicom had received orders for 200,000 phones by Saturday morning when the device went on sale, and sold 40,000 phones with contracts units on the first day, according to Chinese media reports.
Last year Unicom, the sole official supplier of the popular smartphone, took nearly six weeks to the sell the first 100,000 iPhones after they went on sale. Apple told WSJthat it would be shipping extra iPhones to Unicom soon.
The short supply of the iPhone 4 follows similar shortages by AT&T and other operators when the device went on sale earlier this year.
The fast sales start comes as Apple is shortening the delays on introducing the iPhone to markets outside the US and ramping up its China sales operations with the opening of dozens of Apple stores in cities around the country.
Unicom is selling the phone for prices starting from 226 yuan ($33.70) a month for an 8GB phone with a two-year contract up to to 386 yuan for a 32GB device. Without contracts, the 16GB phone sells for 2,999 yuan and the 32GB for 4,799.