As Apple’s iPhone is expected to be launched soon by its partner carrier China Unicom, the Chinese government has given the consumer electronics maker the green light to use the country’s mobile networks.
The Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, an organization under China’s IT ministry, also posted pictures on the licensed 8GB iPhone 3G on their website.
The network license was issued on August 25 and will last for one year. This license makes the iPhones officially available in the Chinese market.
The No.2 mobile carrier’s announcement last month of the 3-year deal ended months of rumors about a tie-up with U.S. brand Apple, which has long been looking to bring its smartphone to China’s nearly 700 mil mobile subscribers. This partnership with China Unicom however, is not exclusive.
“If they don’t offer any subsidies, the price should be around 3,000 yuan ($439.1) per phone,” Liu Bin of Macquarie Capital Securities said. “I estimate in the first year they can get between 1.5 million and two million subscribers.
Well, with quite a number of Chinese iPhone fans – consultancy Ovum estimates around 1 million – already using unlicensed iPhones using their choice of existing GSM networks, I hope Mr. Liu’s prediction will come true. 😉