It’s official – iPhone is coming to China

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In its press release announcing its interim results for the year 2009, it quietly announces that it has signed a three-year deal with Apple to sell the iPhone in the biggest mobile market in terms of subscribers, giving a major boost to the number of phones it will sell. It plans to sell the phones in the forth quarter of this year, giving its 141 million subscribers the chance to get the long-sought phone.

China Unicom hopes that this will give it a competitive edge over its main rival, China Mobile, who has 498 million subscribers – making it the largest carrier by subscribers. Both companies are owned by the Chinese government.

However, China will see two versions of the “third-generation iPhone” – most likely the iPhone 3GS 16GB and 32GB models; and it will buy the phones wholesale, according to Engadget, as there is no revenue sharing deal in place between the two companies. Specs on these versions have not been revealed, but speculation continues to state that the Wi-Fi functions have been removed to meet Government regulations.

Photo from hirotomo/Flickr (CC) – Yes, I know the iPhone’s language is in Japanese and not Chinese.

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