Apple and China Unicom Bringing iPhone to China in May 2009?

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001
    [​IMG] reports that Apple and China Unicom have reportedly struck a deal to bring the iPhone to China. According to their sources, the iPhone will make its appearance in May of this year at the earliest.
    Apple had reportedly been negotiating with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to China, but talks between the two companies apparently broke down multiple times with no agreement having been reached.

    Article Link: Apple and China Unicom Bringing iPhone to China in May 2009?
  2. alexbates macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2008
    Georgia, USA
    I think this would really help Apple with sales, knowing that China has the largest population in the world. It sounds like a good idea to me.
  3. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Jun 2, 2008
    I was going to say the same thing.:)
  4. helical macrumors member


    Nov 1, 2008
    Mmmmm i wonder if this will be the same as the international rollout last year where markets like Japan had the iPhone 3G the day it was available everywhere else but not before.

    In other words - will the China rollout be timed with a new iPhone model?
  5. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    Yes, got to wonder if this will be the new model or not.

    Also, if true I can't imagine China mobile will be very happy, or play fair. They're an awful company and I'm sure they'd be pissed off.
  6. Theaser macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2008
    China Unicom is a CDMA carrier, does this mean there will be CDMA AND GSM on the iPhone? As a former Chinese resident, I despise China Unicom. China Mobile all the way!
  7. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Jun 20, 2007
    You need to look up the demographics on chinese citizens.

    If you think all billion+ of them are have the means and are potential customers I have a bridge to sell you in Shanghai.

    Lots of sales?

    Maybe. But no where near as many as people think.
  8. Mr. Giver '94 macrumors 68000

    Mr. Giver '94

    Jun 2, 2008
    True. But since the lines between classes are so drastic almost everyone who isn't impoverished is a potential candidate for a sale.
  9. Theaser macrumors 6502


    Dec 30, 2008
    700 million, that's the number of people who own and subscribes to a network. 2.5 times the size of the U.S. population. The only problem is that 600 million of them subscribes to China Mobile, which is a GSM carrier but are refusing to deal with Apple unless if they have regional control over the Chinese version of the App Store. (Which I think matches their totalitarian government). But, it would be crazy NOT to get into the market.
  10. speedbumpnv macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    if wikipedia can be trusted, they have also provide GSM.

    again if wiki is correct, or even is the ball park, China Unicom has approximately 168 million users. even if a super small percentage of the population has cell phones available to them, its still a super huge number of people.
  11. winninganthem macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2008
    Wow that's pretty awesome. Good news for China.
  12. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    Doesn't China already have the iPhone? Oh, wait that's the iPhoney...:eek::D
  13. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Selling in large quantities the iPhone 3G, then bringing out the v3 iPhone just a month or so afterwards?
    Admittedly the market would mop up some of the inventory if they scale down iPhone production. It partialyl depends on whether the v3 iPhone is a replacement, or an addition to the iPhone/Touch lineup.
    China would suck up a hell of a lot of initial v3 iPhones - will Apple have initial stock problems ramping up again?
  14. DoubleU macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2008
    Initial stock problems but low distribution costs.
  15. 3247 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Reportedly, Chinese legislation requires mobile phones to use Micro-USB for charging. That would require a new version of the iPhone.
  16. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Apple would ship it with an adaptor. They're not changing from 30-pin USB for a long time.
  17. cleanup macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    Since when? Only one of the phones I used in China had a micro USB port (an old Moto V220), and only for data transfer. All others were Sony Ericssons or Nokias and thus had the proprietary DataPort or used a small round DC connector to charge.
  18. arkitect macrumors 601


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Don't know about China, but the EU is working on it…
  19. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Sep 16, 2007
    I would be surprised if it's not a bend over deal where special adjustments have to been made to the phone, its OS or related services in order to satisfy China's strict regulations of what information can or should be available for its people. But what don't you do for more money...
  20. HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    I bet this coincides with the launch of the $99 iPhone elsewhere around the world since most in China cannot afford the current iPhone pricing. So Apple would have to do something completely different for China and that R&D research would not be put to waste. Plus, it fits in line with other rumors that Apple is looking for CDMA tech people so it makes sense to me that this would coincide with the rumored $99 iPhone launch. Just my 2¢.
  21. guzhogi macrumors 68030


    Aug 31, 2003
    Wherever my feet take me…
    And to think that the iphone will probably cost more than a month's salary for most of the people there. I forgot where I heard it, so don't flame me if I'm wrong.
  22. sjo macrumors 6502a

    Aug 30, 2005
    this is not correct anymore, in preparation for 3g licenses, the networks were re-distributed. china unicom is the gsm operator with wcdma license.

    thus cu this is far more better match for apple than the china mobile which has td-scdma 3g license (not compatible with iphone). point i've raised a couple of times when there has been rumors about china mobile + apple deal :)

    however it doesn't seem the best idea to bring an old version of iphone to chinese markets just one or two months before introducing a new model. chinese customers are generally well informed with respect of pricy gadgets...
  23. leonstafford macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2007
    Kyoto, Japan
    was that not a typo of "piracy"?

    can't wait to buy my iPhong limited Red edition to commemorate 10th anniversary of Tiananmen...
  24. 3247 macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    It's a bit hard to get information in English (hence "Reportedly"). However, it seems that the mandate is for all phones designed after 2007-06-14.

    It would not be too hard to include both Micro-USB and the dock connector. There's plenty of space on the left hand side of the phone.
  25. lftrghtparadigm macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2008
    It would actually make you sick if you could hear the details that Apple will have to acquiesce to, to make this happen.

    Then I would remind you that what we let happen in China will eventually happen here. Unavoidable.

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