August 2nd, Huawei began selling the 5G phone, online only. By August 15th, sales topped 1,000,000. On August 16th, lines formed around stores in several cities as sales began offline. Huawei will probably sell 7 million to 12 million 5G phones in China this year, replacing many of the lost sales in Europe.
ZTE and others are also selling phones, with Oppo committed to a price of US$580. The telcos have just begun offering phones in their shops. Two million signups in August are almost certain. China and Korea will likely each reach three million signups in September. After that, a wide gap will develop.
When Minister Miao told the Chinese telcos not to wait for October for 5G, the companies were not prepared. Over 50,000 radios were in place, but basics like price plans didn’t exist.
For now, all customers are on a free 100 gigabyte/month “experience” plan. The rumours are that prices will be 199 to 599 yuan, US$29 to $85 per month.