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

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ChinaTechNews.com 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.
Foreign media are quoting representatives from Ovum, a British consultancy, as saying that China Unicom and Apple will achieve cooperation soon and if everything goes smoothly, the 3G iPhone will enter the Chinese market in May 2009 at the earliest, but no more detail is given.
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?
 

alexbates

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Nov 24, 2008
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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.
 

helical

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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?
 

samh004

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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.
 

Theaser

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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!
 

plumbingandtech

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Jun 20, 2007
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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.
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.
 

Mr. Giver '94

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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.
True. But since the lines between classes are so drastic almost everyone who isn't impoverished is a potential candidate for a sale.
 

Theaser

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Dec 30, 2008
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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.
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.
 

speedbumpnv

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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!
if wikipedia can be trusted, they have also provide GSM.

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.
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.
 

t0mat0

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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?
 

3247

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Reportedly, Chinese legislation requires mobile phones to use Micro-USB for charging. That would require a new version of the iPhone.
 

cleanup

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Reportedly, Chinese legislation requires mobile phones to use Micro-USB for charging. That would require a new version of the iPhone.
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.
 

Mackan

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Sep 16, 2007
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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...
 

HyperZboy

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Feb 7, 2007
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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¢.
 

sjo

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Aug 30, 2005
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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!
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...
 

3247

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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.
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.
 

lftrghtparadigm

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Oct 12, 2008
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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...
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.