China Unicom, the country's second largest telecom operator, is expecting a big rise in its subscriber number after it launched the country's first official sales of iPhone Friday night.
Analysts Saturday estimated the monthly rise to be 1.8 million in November, a sharp increase from September's 935,000.
Unicom started selling iPhones equipped with 3G service in 285 Chinese cities on Saturday, hoping it will give an edge against its rival China Mobile, the world's biggest phone company by subscribers.
Up until the end of September, China Unicom has 140 million subscribers, much less than China's Mobile's 500 million.
Net profit of China Unicom hit 3.1 billion yuan ($453.8 million) in the first nine months this year, according to the company's Q3 report released late Friday.
Its Q3 profit stood at 909 million yuan, however the company failed to provide the year-on-year ratio due to different comparable bases.