Unicom to launch Apple iPhone in China on October 1

Apple Online Store “China Unicom, the country’s second-largest mobile operator, said on Monday it would start selling Apple’s iPhones on October 1, China’s national day, as it hopes to lure more high-end users to boost profits,” Justine Lau reports for The Financial Times.

“As the mainland’s first official vendor of the iPhone, Unicom said it would sell the handsets for about Rmb5,000 ($732.50) each, without specifying which model that would apply to. Subscribers can choose from eight service plans, ranging from Rmb126 to Rmb886 a month. Users who sign a two-year contract to spend more than Rmb186 per month would receive handset subsidies of up to Rmb4,253,” Lau reports. “According to Sina, China’s biggest portal, subscribers who choose the top service plan and prepay Rmb7,999 in credit will receive a 3GS model of the iPhone with 32GB of memory free of charge.”

Lau reports, “By comparison, AT&T in the US offers the same iPhone model for $299 each with a two-year contract based on a $69.99 to $149.99 monthly service plan. None of the models sold by Unicom comes with WiFi capabilities, as demanded by the country’s regulators.”

Full article here.

14 Comments

  1. @ Eakster

    > Also why does china not want wifi?

    Because the state can turn off the wireless carrier network (control it) if necessary. They cannot control WiFi access so easily.

    Still, it is pretty dumb, since there are probably tens of millions laptops with WiFi in China, and there is no new restriction of WiFi on “real” computers.

    But big news for Apple, that this is finally official with a launch date. The top two wireless carriers in China have more current paying subscribers than the population of the U.S. Of course, they can’t all afford to get an iPhone, but these are people who already pay to use a mobile phone. The entire population of the U.S. can’t afford to use an iPhone either.

  2. This may help those that wonder why wifi is, most likely deactivated, or slightly probable that it’s not in the hardware of the C-iPhone. From a quick Google search. 
    “The buzz from China is that MIIT is testing an iPhone with WiFi disabled … if true, then Apple has made the decision to forego inclusion of WAPI.  NOTE: These restrictions will apply to ALL smartphone manufacturers who offer WiFi enabled phones in China – Apple, RIM, Palm, Nokia, HTC, et. al.  They will either include WAPI or they MUST disable WiFi.”

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