Feeds

Apple to set loose five million ChiPhones

September D-Day?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The long-awaited Chinese iPhone will go on sale in September, and it has already added nearly $1.5bn to Cupertino's coffers.

Or so says a report out of Beijing in Wednesday's International Business Times, which says that China Unicom has coughed up a cool 10bn yuan ($1.46bn) for 5 million iPhones.

Five million ChiPhones would be a hefty win for Apple, but not a staggering one. Cupertino sold 5.2 million iPhones last quarter and is expected by at least one analyst to sell 6.8 million more in the current quarter - and that's not counting the China deal.

The predominant mobile standard in The Middle Kingdom is the uniquely Chinese TD-SCDMA, which is used by China's top mobile provider, China Mobile. The smaller China Unicom was awarded the right to the WCDMA standard in January - and that will be the standard which the ChiPhone will employ, according to the IBT.

In March, China Unicom chairman Chang Xiaobing let it be known that his company was in negotiations to bring the iPhone to China, a disclosure that confirmed earlier rumors.

China Mobile had also been rumored to be in talks with Apple as early as 2007, but those talks were reported to have broken down in early 2008.

The IBT report quotes a China Unicom exec as saying that "The price of the 8G standard iPhone is set at about 2,400 yuan ($350, £212) and the 16G may be sold at 4,800 yuan." No mention was made of a 32GB model, nor of the long-rumored iPhone nano that some had expected would be China-bound.

Neither was there any indication of the ChiPhone's capabilities, but it's widely suspected that GPS support won't be among them, considering how strict the Chinese government is about such things.

Another unknown is access to the iPhone App Store. And if you think Apple is strict on censorship, they're loosey-goosey libertines when compared to the bureaucrats of Beijing.

As we reported last month, Apple faced an unexpected hurdle to its move into China when it was revealed that Beijing-based graphics tablet manufacturer Hanwang Technology owned the trademark on the name "i-phone." The IBT report didn't mention any settlement of that snafu, but we can only assume that 10bn yuan can buy quite a bit of grease.

During a conference call with analysts and reporters discussing the company's most recent financial performance, Apple's COO Tim Cook said about the China market, "It continues to be a priority project," he said, "and we hope to be there within a year."

If the IBT report is correct, 1.3 billion potential customers won't have to wait that long. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.