A Wi-Fi-less Apple iPhone has gone on sale in China and the first week's figures are described as "slow", thought to be a result of the amount of cheaper, unlocked iPhones available in the region.

Apple's official Chinese iPhone partner, China Unicom - that it signed a 3-year deal with back in August - has confirmed it has seen sales of 5000 iPhones so far since it went on sale last week.

China Unicom chairman, Chairman Chang Xiaobing, said, "We are satisfied with iPhone sales so far, and we aim to have an additional 1 million new 3G subscribers each month in the near future".

With a potential market of over 700 million, estimates put future Chinese iPhone sales at 460,000 per year - thought to be less than the number of "grey market" phones already in the country.