“China United Network Communications Group, the nation’s second-largest wireless carrier, will give users an Apple Inc. iPhone 4S if they sign multiyear service contracts costing as little as 286 yuan ($45) a month,” Bloomberg News.

“The promotion starting Jan. 13 offers a 32-gigabyte model with a three-year plan, while a commitment to two years for a monthly fee of 386 yuan allows users to get the 16-gigabyte model, the company known as China Unicom said in a statement on its website yesterday,” Bloomberg News. “China Unicom, the only one of the nation’s three carriers offering the iPhone with a service contract, is using the handset to woo high-end subscribers who play games and watch online videos using their phones. The user growth comes at a price as Unicom’s 3G subsidy costs in the first half of 2011 ballooned almost fourfold, driven by support for the iPhone.”

Bloomberg News, “The iPhone 4S features a virtual personal assistant called Siri that uses voice-recognition software. That feature prompts owners to use almost twice as much data as the device’s predecessors, network firm Arieso Ltd. estimates. While Siri currently functions only in English, French and German, Apple has pledged to make a Chinese-language version available this year, according to a statement on its website.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dan K.” for the heads up.]