or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › China Unicom, Apple iPhone deal is non-exclusive agreement
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

China Unicom, Apple iPhone deal is non-exclusive agreement

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
On the heels of last week's announcement that Apple's iPhone would become available in China late this year, the company has confirmed its agreement with China Unicom is not exclusive to the carrier.

In a significant change from the platform's launch in most other countries, China Unicom may not be the sole carrier of the iPhone in the nation of over one billion, if Apple enters into an agreement with another competing carrier. Speaking with Dow Jones Newswires, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that the China Unicom contract is not exclusive. The person declined, however, to detail whether or not Apple is in negotiations with other possible carriers.

However, last week the chairman of China Unicom said he believes his company will remain the only carrier of the iPhone because it operates on the WCDMA standard, the third-generation successor to the GSM platform. The carrier runs a GSM/UMTS 3G mobile network using the same signaling technology at AT&T in the U.S. and most other carriers worldwide. For Apple to release the iPhone on competing carriers, it would need to alter the device's inner workings.

However, Apple has already modified the iPhone for China, reportedly developing a new hardware model that lacks Wi-Fi and operates on the 900MHz, 1700MHz and 1900MHz bands. That device, given government regulatory approval for use on China Unicom in July, can be sold in the country for five years.

Last Friday, China Unicom and Apple announced a three-year deal to sell the iPhone in China. The nation's second-largest wireless provider plans to launch its 3G network on Sept. 28 in anticipation of the iPhone's debut. China Unicom has an estimated 141 million subscribers, and plans to offer 3G access in 335 cities before 2010.

For comparison, AT&T, as of July, had 79.6 million subscribers. Given the large size of the market and potential for growth, industry watchers have been very interested in Apple's entry into the Chinese cell phone business. Questions remain as to how successful the device could be, as the nation's character-based language is said to not integrate well with user interfaces developed for other countries. But if Apple were to strike a deal with another carrier in addition to China Unicom, the potential for growth and sales would be even greater. The nation's largest carrier, China Mobile, has nearly a half-billion total subscribers.
post #2 of 13
Do we even have 335 Metroplexes?

Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

Reply

Six x 3.5GHz '14 MP, 64GB, 1TB PCIe, 16TB HDs
2.6GHz 6GB 17"HD LED MBP, Sony 52XBR6 HDTV
EyeTV 500, Hybrid 2G, EyeTV 3 HDTV Recorder
64 ATT iPhone 5S, 128 ATT iPad Air, 128 ATT iPad miniRetina, 16...

Reply
post #3 of 13
I wonder if China Mobile has announced its 4G roadmap...
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
Reply
post #4 of 13
Apple could sell an unlocked iPhone in China. It could be used both on the Unicom network and others like China Mobile which has GSM. The TD-SCDMA tech will take time to deploy anyway for China Mobile. Another option would be to sell a the original GSM/EDGE + GPS phone for the mass market. However, all this would fragment the market is become expensive.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Questions remain as to how successful the device could be, as the nation's character-based language is said to not integrate well with user interfaces developed for other countries.

I don't believe Chinese poses any typographical problems to the iPhone OS: It's not a RTL language and Darwin has supported Unicode for many years.

I also believe the iPhone OS has at least comparable, if not superior options, when it comes to Chinese input. An iPhone port of the popular FIT input method, WeFIT, is available and Apple already provides Chinese handwriting recognition out of the box. They can further improve the input experience by including a stylus.
post #6 of 13
Forcing the iPhone to go without Wi-Fi is the last straw. The government of China must be overthrown and a re-instituted under a new constitution that guarantees democracy and personal liberty.
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by someone00 View Post

...They can further improve the input experience by including a stylus.

Is that really necessary? Are there any novel input techniques for Han characters that don't rely on drawing with the level of accuracy that would require a stylus?
post #8 of 13
In the land of totalitarian, one-party, socialist rule, they get choices of cell carriers with the iPhone, but in "the land of the free," we groan under the repressive jackboot of a single company.
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by someone00 View Post

They can further improve the input experience by including a stylus.


That would require them to reengineer the whole touch interface hardware and software or invent a new type of stylus that works with capacitive sensors. Not entirely a bad idea though. I wouldn't mind having a precision input mode. At times it is really difficult to navigate web pages that are not designed for use on iPhone due to the closeness of the links to one another.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Forcing the iPhone to go without Wi-Fi is the last straw. The government of China must be overthrown and a re-instituted under a new constitution that guarantees democracy and personal liberty.

Go ahead and get to work on that. Ain't gonna happen until there is a groundswell of public support so big it could overthrow their own military. I repeat... ain't gonna happen.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

In the land of totalitarian, one-party, socialist rule, they get choices of cell carriers with the iPhone, but in "the land of the free," we groan under the repressive jackboot of a single company.

Wait a sec... which country is which?...

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

 

Get the lowdown on the coming collapse:  http://www.cbo.gov/publication/45010

Reply
post #12 of 13
According to Bloomberg, "Apple will initially offer iPhones in China without the Wi- Fi communications standard, Unicom said. The Chinese governments ban on Wi-Fi use in mobile phones was lifted in May, according to BDA."

So the ban was lifted, but the lift in the ban isn't in effect yet? I'm confused.

If the ban is being lifted then I'll withdraw my demand that the Chinese government be overthrown. For now.
post #13 of 13
Is character input in Chinese any more difficult than, say, Arabic or Thai? Just looking an Arabic writing gives me a headache. But anyway, have the Chinese said something about inputting characters on an iPhone being extremely difficult or something due to lack of a physical keyboard. I would think a physical keyboard would be just as restricting. Would a stylus be the ultimate way to input characters? What are the Chinese currently using that's so efficient for character entry? Surely not styli?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › China Unicom, Apple iPhone deal is non-exclusive agreement