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Apple iPhone 4 sales strong in China

More than 200,000 Apple iPhone 4s have been snapped up in China within days of going on sale while waiting lists stretch to the end of October, state media reported Wednesday.

About 100,000 units were sold in the first four days and another 100,000 are on back order in the world's largest mobile market, the China Daily newspaper reported, citing Apple's mobile operator partner China Unicom.

"The sales of previous versions of iPhones created a solid foundation for the iPhone 4," China Unicom senior vice-president Li Gang was quoted as saying.

The 16-gigabyte version of the smartphone, which has wireless Internet capability, costs 4,999 yuan (744 dollars) with the 32-gigabyte selling for 5,999 yuan, Apple has said.

The phone - which made its world debut in June - is being sold at Apple stores in Beijing and Shanghai, China Unicom outlets and other consumer electronics stores.

Unicom, the country's second-largest mobile phone operator, reportedly took nearly 50,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 4 on September 17, the opening day for reservations.

The phone debuted in China on September 25, just a week after Apple officially launched the iPad in the country, with some customers queuing up for several days to ensure they got their hands on the tablet computer.

Both products have been available for several months on China's grey market, which has been booming thanks to great demand for Apple goods.

The earlier version of the iPhone only officially went on sale in China in October - more than two years after its US launch.

China has at least 420 million web users and is also the world's largest mobile market with more than 800 million subscribers as of the end of June, according to official data.