Wireless carrier China Unicom announced that it plans to offer five versions of Apple’s iPhone through an array of two-year service plans when the operator puts the smartphones on sale next month. According to Macworld, China Unicom initially said the iPhone 3G would be priced at around 5,000 yuan (US$732) when it goes on sale in October, though the operator didn’t offer detailed pricing for the eight service plans that it will offer customers. On Tuesday, China Unicom offered more specifics of its pricing plans, saying it would begin taking preorders for the phones on Oct. 1, when it launches its commercial 3G service.
AT&T is apparently selling refurbished iPhone 3G units on the cheap according to the company's Facebook page. The current ad is now offering the 8GB unit for $49 while the 16GB is retailing for $99.
Assorted user reports have emerged citing that AT&T's new 3G MicroCell has been test launched in the Charlotte, North Carolina market, with a $150 price tag and no required monthly fees. According to GearLog, an AT&T representative has stated that the femtocell device provides 3.2Mbit/sec 3G service, which is on par with AT&T's existing towers in areas of ideal service, but not the maximum 7.2MBit/sec speed supported by the iPhone 3GS.
Wireless carrier AT&T announced plans to offer wireless data connections on its 3G network to customers, including iPhone users, when it enables High Speed Packet Access 7.2 technology in a half-dozen cities by the end of 2009 on Wednesday. Per AppleInsider, the upgrade delivers theoretical peak speeds twice that of the carrier's existing 3G network. Deployment will begin in Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Tex.; Houston, Tex.; Los Angeles, Calif.; and Miami, Fla.
As much as you want the TomTom iPhone Kit, you'll have to wait a bit longer. According to AppleInsider, TomTom spokesman Kevin Carter has confirmed that the company's iPhone hardware kit will not be available for its previously announced summer release deadline, though no specific reason was given. The accessory is a cradle that will interface with the iPhone and provide enhanced GPS capabilities.
AT&T announced this week that the company has the company has strengthened its signal in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut tri-state region and that further nationwide network improvements are also planned. According to AppleInsider, the wireless carrier said that it has deployed spectrum in the 850MHz across "large portions" of New York City, Long Island and New Jersey, and customers in that area will have better reception and speed, as well as better coverage indoors. The company noted that the 850MHz spectrum used is considered "high quality," and has been enabled for 3G use at more than 1,600 cell sites in the New York metropolitan area.
Wireless carrier China Mobile has confirmed that the company is still in talks with Apple about offering the iPhone in China even though rival China Unicom last week announced a distribution deal for the handset. According to Macworld, the talks between Apple and China Mobile, the world’s biggest carrier by subscribers, yet to reach a conclusion, as confirmed by a China Mobile spokeswoman on Tuesday. An Apple spokeswoman confirmed the company's three-year distribution deal with China Unicom is not exclusive, but did not say if the company is in talks with other potential partners.
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.
Reports coming in from iPhone owners in New York City and the San Francisco Bay areas that much-needed improvements in the quality of AT&T's 3G network have begun to appear according to reports received by Electronista and TechCrunch. Recently, AT&T spokesman Seth Bloom recently indicated that parts of New York City have received 3G over the 850MHz frequency on their network and that some users are noticing a much more reliable signal than they have before. Which areas have been upgraded haven't been detailed, nor has the timetable for remaining updates.
Recently, both Apple and AT&T found themselves named in two class action lawsuits regarding the current lack of MMS support for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. iPhone OS 3.0 includes support for MMS, but so far AT&T hasn't enabled the feature and apparently at least some iPhone owners feel that they've been misled per an article on the Mac Observer.