According to a report in Chinese media (Shanghai Securities News), China Unicom and Apple have inked an exclusive three-year iPhone deal. China Unicom is the world’s second-largest carrier with over 135 million subscribers( February 2009). China Mobile is #1 with over 470 million subscribers.
Reportedly, Apple’s iPhone 3G is will be launched by the end of September in China.
According to reporter Zhang Tao, China Unicom will be buying a minimum of 1 million iPhone units per year at 3,000 yuan per unit over the three-year deal. China Unicom will guarantee annual sales of 1 – 2 million units and at least 5 billion yuan in annual revenue, the newspaper said.
The iTunes App Store model will remain intact and run as in other countries (Apple approval process, 70/30 spilt between developers and Apple).
The report did not mention if the iPhone 3G units would have WiFi active or not, which has been reportedly been a sticking point in negotiations according to various reports.
The report (Chinese) is here.
The report via Google Chinese to English translation is here.
UPDATE: 12:26am EDT: Reuters has picked up the story with a report from Melanie Lee here.
MacDailyNews Take: 血浴
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Eric” for the heads up.]