Rumor: Apple to Meet with China Unicom Executives Regarding iPhone

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Date: Friday, February 13th, 2009, 10:20
Category: Rumor

3giphone.jpg
Wireless carrier China Unicom has reportedly sent top executives to meet with Apple in the United States next month as Apple may be bringing its iPhone handset to the Chinese market.
According to tech.sina.com.cn (the report is in Chinese) and Macworld UK, the movements of the China Unicom executives were cited by “knowledgeable sources.”
The article then goes on the state that China Unicom plans to launch WCDMA (Wideband Code Divison Multiple Access) 3G services in May.
In recent months, Apple has been rumored to be in negoatiations with China Mobile Communications, the country’s largest mobile operator, about selling the iPhone in China.
Throughout this process, rumors have circulated that Apple has also been in talks with China Unicom regarding sales of the iPhone in China.
The 3G iPhone supports WCDMA, which is widely used in Asia, North America and Europe. However, China Mobile was granted a license to offer 3G services using TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous CDMA), a different 3G technology that was developed in China and is significantly less mature from a development standpoint.
Even before Chinese regulators made the news official last month, China Mobile was long been expected to receive a license for TD-SCDMA, not WCDMA. For China Mobile to offer the 3G iPhone, Apple would be required to redesign the handset using new components that would need to be sourced from different suppliers.
Such changes would appreciably increase Apple’s production cost and likely result in higher prices to the end user.
Another sticking point between Apple and China Mobile was the Apple Store, which the company uses to sell and distribute third-party applications, Sina reported. Previous reports have indicated that China Mobile has its own plans for an application store and did not want to yield to Apple’s control.
For this reason, a deal to bring the iPhone to China will likely involve significant concessions from China Unicom to meet Apple’s requirements, the report said.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.


3giphone.jpg
Wireless carrier China Unicom has reportedly sent top executives to meet with Apple in the United States next month as Apple may be bringing its iPhone handset to the Chinese market.
According to tech.sina.com.cn (the report is in Chinese) and Macworld UK, the movements of the China Unicom executives were cited by “knowledgeable sources.”
The article then goes on the state that China Unicom plans to launch WCDMA (Wideband Code Divison Multiple Access) 3G services in May.
In recent months, Apple has been rumored to be in negoatiations with China Mobile Communications, the country’s largest mobile operator, about selling the iPhone in China.
Throughout this process, rumors have circulated that Apple has also been in talks with China Unicom regarding sales of the iPhone in China.
The 3G iPhone supports WCDMA, which is widely used in Asia, North America and Europe. However, China Mobile was granted a license to offer 3G services using TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous CDMA), a different 3G technology that was developed in China and is significantly less mature from a development standpoint.
Even before Chinese regulators made the news official last month, China Mobile was long been expected to receive a license for TD-SCDMA, not WCDMA. For China Mobile to offer the 3G iPhone, Apple would be required to redesign the handset using new components that would need to be sourced from different suppliers.
Such changes would appreciably increase Apple’s production cost and likely result in higher prices to the end user.
Another sticking point between Apple and China Mobile was the Apple Store, which the company uses to sell and distribute third-party applications, Sina reported. Previous reports have indicated that China Mobile has its own plans for an application store and did not want to yield to Apple’s control.
For this reason, a deal to bring the iPhone to China will likely involve significant concessions from China Unicom to meet Apple’s requirements, the report said.
Stay tuned for additional details as they become available and let us know what you think in the comments or forums.

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