At long last and after months of rumors, China Unicom has reached a 3-year deal with Apple to offer the iPhone in China. According to Macworld, the company is expected to launch the phone in the fourth quarter of this year, it said in a statement. The deal brings the iPhone to a huge market in a country with nearly 700 million mobile subscribers.
Per TheStreet.com, an official representing China Unicom confirmed that the wireless carrier is currently in talks with Apple to function as the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in China, but denied that the company recently purchased five million handsets.
It appears that the rumors of an impending Chinese iPhone have been true. Chinese news portal Sina.com.cn has posted a series of photographs of an iPhone with Chinese text printed on the back and running a Chinese language version of the iPhone OS. Not long after, the images were pulled, possibly at the request of either China Unicom or Apple, which may confirm their authenticity.
Fortune summarizes numerous reports on the ongoing negotiations between Apple and China Unicom to bring the iPhone to one of the largest cell phone markets in the world. Both Reuters and AFP report information from a China Unicom spokesperson that the companies are still in negotiations, while Shanghai Security News says they have already reached a conclusion and a deal has already been made.
it was discovered earlier today that Apple has filed for a Chinese network access license for the iPhone. This is another major step on the road to getting the iPhone in China, and could signify their progress with carrier agreements, showing that it might not be much longer until a deal is announced.
A regional branch of China Unicom has posted information on the iPhone on their website. The information was posted on a page for smartphones on China Unicom's Shanghai branch. The news comes alongside reports that there has been a major breakthrough in the negotiations between the two companies to get the device in China once and for all.
According to ChinaTechNews.com, Apple and China Mobile have agreed on a deal to bring the iPhone 3G to China as soon as May 2009. The news comes from an Ovum representative in the UK. No further details about the arrangement have been made available. Previous rumors had China Unicom and China Mobile launching the device on both networks simultaneously, but nothing more about China Unicom has been said since then.
Chinese wireless phone company China Unicom has confirmed that they are currently in talks with Apple to bring the iPhone 3G to China. According to China Business News, a manager from the company has confirmed the rumor. There are a few obsitcles stopping them from bringing it to market, however, in that it is illegal in China to have Wi-Fi on a cellphone.
Interfax has revealed some insider details behind Apple's lengthy ongoing negotiations with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to China. Their source claims that when visiting China Mobile Research Institute, company president Wang Jiazhou confirmed two temporary halts in negotiations in the past, and that they had just hit a third in regard to the App Store.
MarketWatch reports that negotiations between Apple and China Mobile, the nation's largest carrier, are making progress toward an iPhone 3G launch in the country with 600 million subscribers. While China Mobile's CEO, Wang Jianzhou, was legally unable to speak about the contents of the talks, he did say they are still interested in getting the iPhone on their network.