Even after two years since the network operator and Apple started the negotiations for the iPhone, the two companies are still at it. China Mobile however assures that public that it WILL be happening.
Wang Jianzhou, chairman and CEO of China Mobile, said at the GSM Association’s Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong said that they are aware of the iPhone’s popularity among young customers.
“China Mobile has continued negotiations with Apple to introduce the iPhone on China Mobile’s network,” he said.
Wang told reporters at the conference they are indeed serious in pursuing with the deal with Apple, but it also wants to focus on expanding consumer options on different handsets.
“We really are still in talks with Apple. In our negotiations in the past, we insisted on sticking to our conditions,” Wang said, according to the blog The Money Times.
“We are still very sincere about completing this negotiation.”
China Unicom is finally set to launch the first official iPhone sales in the country this week. And with the biggest carrier in the world as their competition, as well as the 1 million gray-market iPhones already proliferating in China, the company is preparing for battle.
So how did they plan to do it?
Because unlocked iPhones and other high-end phones sold in China’s gray-market only use China Mobile’s 2G network (that uses GSM and GRPS standards), Apple’s official carrier in China for the iPhone will be offering China-developed 3G service to users of any handset that supports 3G, including those gray-market iPhones
I would like to stress out however, that despite China Unicom being the first to officially sell iPhone in China, its contract with Apple is not exclusive. Its main competition, China Mobile, has said last month that they are also in talks with Apple about distribution.
Another probable distributor of the iPhone in the country is Hon Hai Precision Industry (also known by the trade name Foxconn), a major contract manufacturer of Apple gadgets.