The Chinese Government’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has received an application from Apple, seeking to gain a Network Access Licence to sell the iPhone in the country, but it will sell the popular phone without wifi connectivity, according to Business Week.
The Colorado-based Wedge Partners, a stock research firm, has also said that the phone will run on the GSM standard, and not the CDMA standard used in China by large telcos like China Telecom; and with this move, it would eliminate another hurdle in getting the phone sold in the Communist country. But with applications taking four to six months, these should fast track negotiations with state-owned China Unicom, a rival of China Telecom – another state-owned telecom.
The ban on the use of wifi connectivity, one of the features on both the iPhone and the iPod touch, is mainly due to the Ministry’s request that the phone should run on the cellular network only.
But with this news, this would also leave the CDMA version of the iPhone dead in the water, as well as of a possible hook up with US carrier Verizon, as their networks are mainly using the CDMA network – making AT&T still the only carrier. However, Verizon is set to replace its CDMA network with an LTE network, which is a 4G network standard and will replace UMTS.