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Apple iPhone poised for China touchdown

1.3 billion to be served

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It appears that Apple's plan to introduce its iPhone to 1.3 billion potential Chinese customers may have taken one more step towards reality.

According to ChinaTechNews.com, China Unicom "reportedly" reached an agreement with Apple that would bring the über-successful smartphone to the world's most populous market as soon as May of this year.

This latest rumor is one in a long series of informed speculation concerning Apple's Chinese plans. One analyst, for example, conjectured that Apple would resurrect its original GPS-free iPhone in order to please a security-conscious Chinese government.

Another theory is that the ChiPhone will be the oft-scuttlebutted iPhone Nano, a smaller-screen version of the current model.

If true, China Unicom's success in its iPhone negotiations with Apple would be a blow to China Mobile, whose talks with Apple regarding their handling of Chinese iPhone service reportedly broke down over a year ago.

But the China Unicom deal makes sense - if only because China Mobile has been granted the uniquely Chinese TD-SCDMA standard in the three-way 3G contract distribution recently announced by the Chinese government.

In that three-provider deal, China Telecom was awarded the contract for Qualcomm’s not-terribly-widespread CDMA-2000 standard, and China Unicom was grated the rights to WCDMA.

The iPhone supports WCDMA. China Unicom is a WCDMA provider.

ChinaTechNews.com's rumor makes sense. ®

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