Comparing that to the plans offered in the U.S., with the AT&T 16GB model costing $199 for a two-year service plan that costs $45 just for the data plan (2GB) and texting ($20 for unlimited texting on AT&T is the only plan offered), and one has to shake one's head in envy.
At these rates, China Unicom isn't exactly awash in money. Alen Lin told Bloomberg that the 286 yuan rate used to be offered on a two-year contract, but China Unicom changed that to gain an extra year to make up the subsidy cost.
The third largest carrier in the country, China Telecom, is rumored to begin offering the iPhone to its over 100 million subscribers soon.
The iPhone 4S only recently received the necessary government certification, by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, late last month.