Apple's hopes of conquering China with its iPhone may be fading after reports of a dismal opening weekend for the phone on its debut in the country.

According to reports, the president of the firm offering the iPhone in China, Unicom Ltd, told shareholders that sales had 'passed 5,000' following its debut weekend, a far from stellar total.

Less for more

You don't have to look too far for reasons why the phone has not ignited the Chinese market; the country's law means that the handsets are not Wi-Fi enabled and the phones are not cheap.

In fact, an unlocked imported iPhone from the black market is apparently retailing for some 20 per cent less than the 4,999 yuan (c£440) for the most basic model.

In the UK, sales of the iPhone have been huge, and with other networks set to take the handset when its exclusivity to O2 ends, there is no sign of that changing.