Apple nears wireless license for iPhone in China

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple may have finally cleared a hurdle in bringing the iPhone to China as it has reportedly applied for a Network Access License in the Asian country, putting a release just a few months away -- albeit without Wi-Fi.



Although he doesn't say how he obtained the information, Wedge Partners analyst Matt Mathison claims that the application was filed today but doesn't make any mention of onboard Wi-Fi. Rumors have repeatedly hinted that Apple may be forced to remove Wi-Fi to appease the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which would prefer that iPhone owners use local networks.



Apple has supposedly been "hellbent" on shipping the iPhone to China with Wi-Fi but appears to have relented in order to get the phone into the populous nation.



If the process moves along as usual, this special iPhone would take between four to six months to receive the green light and go on sale. This would put a launch no later than January, and Mathison is confident the device would arrive before the Chinese New Year, which in 2010 will start in mid-February. He views the licensing as partly a negotiation tactic that would help bring Apple closer to a deal with China Unicom, the carrier recently pegged as the most likely candidate for an iPhone due to its inherent compatibility with the iPhone's existing 3G standards.



While it's rare to have an estimate that narrows the release window for an iPhone in China, whether or not this latest prediction is accurate is still debatable. Local carriers have been in talks with Apple since at least late 2007, and one-time favorite China Mobile has often tried making multiple special requests that have likely stalled hopes for a quick agreement, such as demanding that the American company either use the government-backed TD-SCDMA standard for 3G or cede control of the App Store.



Apple has so far only said that it wants to have the iPhone in China within the next year and has been silent on its progress.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 69
    I thought about just saying "first post!!!".. but then, if thats all I said.. that would be really lame.



    SO...



    I bet apple's whole reason for such stringent negotiations are b/c they would have to manufacture an entirely new phone ... or significantly alter their production line to meet these demands... NOT because they really think Chinese people deserve wifi in their lives. I suppose they figured the profit from selling in China would outweigh any added costs to make it happen. I mean, apple sells the same exact phone everywhere in the world.. EXCEPT for possibly China?! I'm no materials and manufacturing expert.. but that's got to be bad news to have to significantly alter your process just for one market??



    Meh, politics....
  • Reply 2 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by OhReallyNow View Post


    I thought about just saying "first post!!!".. but then, if thats all I said.. that would be really lame.



    SO...



    I bet apple's whole reason for such stringent negotiations are b/c they would have to manufacture an entirely new phone ... or significantly alter their production line to meet these demands... NOT because they really think Chinese people deserve wifi in their lives. I suppose they figured the profit from selling in China would outweigh any added costs to make it happen. I mean, apple sells the same exact phone everywhere in the world.. EXCEPT for possibly China?! I'm no materials and manufacturing expert.. but that's got to be bad news to have to significantly alter your process just for one market??



    Meh, politics....



    More like meh, Communist country. There must be wifi permitted phones there that are sold by the government. Or, there is no way Apple will put a device in to let them monitor the wifi activity, or some other useless crap China doesnt want people to have access to. Funny thing is, aren't the iPhones assembled there? So the Chinese would have to make phones for the rest of the world with wifi, while making their domestic phones without it. Wouldn't they find that demoralizing? Sometimes, revolution is good. Pick up your weapons and revolt!
  • Reply 3 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by technohermit View Post


    Funny thing is, aren't the iPhones assembled there? So the Chinese would have to make phones for the rest of the world with wifi, while making their domestic phones without it. Wouldn't they find that demoralizing?



    Oh, I don't know... there's a difference between needs and wants.



    I think that, sometimes in the West, we confound the two.
  • Reply 4 of 69
    em_teem_te Posts: 25member
    Needless to say it probably won't have the YouTube app, which I think is banned in China. I wonder if they'll somehow block the Twitter app in the App Store?
  • Reply 5 of 69
    Anyone think they might disable WiFi via Software and not hardware? Just a thought....
  • Reply 6 of 69
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,233member
    What exactly is so threatening about wifi?



    Or is it banned just so china mobile can frisk the public via lucrative mobile data fees?
  • Reply 7 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post


    Anyone think they might disable WiFi via Software and not hardware? Just a thought....



    Well I would hope that the Chinese govt would be at least smart enough to realize people would just torrent the OS version that ANY of the other hundreds of countries use and/or somehow "jailbreak" the chinese iphone OS to allow for wifi.





    I mean, but then again, they are the Chinese government.....
  • Reply 8 of 69
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    I don't know that this makes much sense - they sell laptops with Wi-Fi in China, don't they?
  • Reply 9 of 69
    ajmacajmac Posts: 2member
    In China, data transmitted over WiFi can be routed through proxies to the outside world, whereas cellular data is more easily moderated by government censors. The iPhone's state-of-the-art technology makes it the best possible pocket-sized device for recording information and events and instantaneously sharing them with the world. The Chinese government is apparently aware of the grave threat that an army of unsupervised iPhones represents, and by choosing to omit WiFi from its phone, Apple appears to have blinked. How sad.



    The need for net-savy citizen journalists has never been greater. What a powerful gift it would be if an American company is able to sell them the latest tools of the trade.
  • Reply 10 of 69
    anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajmac View Post


    In China, data transmitted over WiFi can be routed through proxies to the outside world, whereas cellular data is more easily moderated by government censors. The iPhone's state-of-the-art technology makes it the best possible pocket-sized device for recording information and events and instantaneously sharing them with the world. The Chinese government is apparently aware of the grave threat that an army of unsupervised iPhones represents, and by choosing to omit WiFi from its phone, Apple appears to have blinked. How sad.



    The need for net-savy citizen journalists has never been greater. What a powerful gift it would be if an American company is able to sell them the latest tools of the trade.



    do you understand that if all data traffic has to go through chinese iphone provider, how much more profit can they make? it is apple begging for chinese market, not the other way around, your bonehead. there are tons of wifi cell phones in china, but iphone. in order to gain into the door, if chinese carrier wants apple to put shit on the iphone, they would do so. you know why? without iphone, they still can make zillions of money.
  • Reply 11 of 69
    ajmacajmac Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anakin1992 View Post


    do you understand that if all data traffic has to go through chinese iphone provider, how much more profit can they make? it is apple begging for chinese market, not the other way around, your bonehead. there are tons of wifi cell phones in china, but iphone. in order to gain into the door, if chinese carrier wants apple to put shit on the iphone, they would do so. you know why? without iphone, they still can make zillions of money.



    Wow, you really read my post carefully, didn't you? </sarcasm>
  • Reply 12 of 69
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    What exactly is so threatening about wifi?



    Or is it banned just so china mobile can frisk the public via lucrative mobile data fees?



    The Communist RED Chinese Govt. Represses its people in many ways .

    Yahoo, google and every other major internet player has allowed THE REDS to monitor and control its people thru online spying. If you say a certain word online in china today you can go to jail. Sadly bush wasn't too far behind them in this area .



    9
  • Reply 13 of 69
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,743member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    The Communist RED Chinese Govt. Represses its people in many ways .

    Yahoo, google and every other major internet player has allowed THE REDS to monitor and control its people thru online spying. If you say a certain word online in china today you can go to jail. Sadly bush wasn't too far behind them in this area .



    9



    Despite the "repression", China is very slow to change in certain areas. Not all of its population is interested in Western-style democracy. This communist country (not quite communist anymore) has modernized and instituted key reforms. The Chinese are making their brand of communism work. The Asian mind is certainly not the same as the Western mind. And for all of its "repression", China is doing quite well economically. It has emerged as a true superpower. The US owes China upwards of $2 trillion. It would be very, very hard-pressed to pay it back today. China has, in fact, become one of the world's biggest lenders. The focus on how fast will Asian countries "catch up" to the West - is a false focus. The true focus ought to be on how fast will Western hyper-inflating economies collapse, reaching the level of "Asia" today.



    Yes, China faces some challenges in terms of catching up in areas of human rights (that is, Western notions of "human rights". They are not universal.) But don't assume widepsread oppression, and don't assume that everyone is clamouring for democracy. China is not the old Soviet Union. The Chinese at large don't care for Western customs and Western modes of thought. They lay claim to a 1000+ year old culture and philosopy that has remained, in substantial areas, unchanged.



    China is a homogeneous society and many don't want the "white devils" or "foreign devils" and their corrupting influence. For all these Western notions of "oppression" and lack of "freedom", the average Chinese is not only suspicious of the West, but regards him/herself as superior. And in many ways, they'd be right in thinking so. A constant stream in Chinese thought has been that they are heirs to the world, that theirs is the "Middle Kingdom" (Chung-Kuo) around which everything else revolves. They prefer to infiltrate the West and return with knowledge for the benefit of China. And really, who can blame them? They have been doing this kind of thing successfully for over a thousand years.



    China is making Socialism work. It is imperfect, and has a long road ahead. But it's still standing. There are no walls to be torn down here. And this has caused a backlash in the West due to the raging disbelief of it all. It is almost an insult to have a working model of Socialism beside a Democratic West that seems to be falling apart. For China, Socialism has proved to be just as adaptable as any other system. Classical Marxism in not Soviet-era communism.



    Don't assume that another culture's notion of "freedom" is the same as your own.
  • Reply 14 of 69
    patspats Posts: 112member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by brucep View Post


    The Communist RED Chinese Govt. Represses its people in many ways .

    Yahoo, google and every other major internet player has allowed THE REDS to monitor and control its people thru online spying. If you say a certain word online in china today you can go to jail. Sadly bush wasn't too far behind them in this area .




    The problem with WIFI is the Chinese Govt was enforcing a security standard on use of WIFI. All devices needed to support WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure

    (WAPI).



    As far as Iphone in China and the Far East the best site to track is Dan Butterfield's

    IphoneAsia



    According to Dan's latest post

    July 10th

    Quote:

    Tencent Tech News is reporting today that Apple?s iPhone is just a matter of weeks (two specifically) away from test results that are prerequisite to MIIT?s issuance of a Network Access License.



    As part of the approval process, China?s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) requires that all handsets be tested by China?s Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL). Tests can take several months. Apple?s iPhone for China (Model A1324) has received only one (1) of the two (2) required MIIT licenses:



    Issued (five-year model approval) ? Radio Transmission Equipment Type Approval Certificate (RTETAC)

    Pending ? Network Access License (NAL)



  • Reply 15 of 69
    mactrippermactripper Posts: 1,328member
    Once the hobbled iPhone goes legal in China, the demand for the real one should skyrocket even more than it already is now.



    China will unfortunately still require a heavy hand on it's population for quite some time.



    How else can you force a population to reduce it's dangerously high numbers?



    Look what the policy of opening up China to Western style standard of living has done.



    1: Since China has no oil, it has to import it just like the US does. $147 a barrel of oil?, blame the Chinese primarily for the huge demand spike last year.



    2: High cost for construction materials. Every went shopping at Home Depo lately? A little bag of nothing costs a fortune now. It's because China is shopping the world and sucking the limited resources of the world dry.



    3: Deflation in the US. Jobs are being lost because they are going overseas to the abundance of cheap labor in China. No jobs = no money = nobody buys nothing = no jobs and the cycle continues.



    The U.S. is finished economically and so is our high standard of living for nearly everyone. (relative to the rest of the world that is) It's all gone to China.



    Whom ever sold out the US economy and made China favorite nation trade status should be tarred and feathered.
  • Reply 16 of 69
    oc4theooc4theo Posts: 294member
    So Chinese government is afraid of Wifi! I wonder what they are scared about. Then come to think of it; it's all about control. Why make it easy for people when they can pay for it?



    Apple needs China, more than China needs iPhone. So if Apple wants to play the ball, it has to play by Chinese rule. No "ifs" and "buts" about it.



    There are already thousands of iPhone in China, being used by Chinese people. It's not like iPhone is illegal over there. It's all about money. Yes, Apple is already available to 90 countries, but some of these countries have populations smaller than a Chinese province. So the potential number of Chinese citizens as iPhone users is enormous. Yes, Apple's pride may be hurt, but money talks, and in this case it is HUGE. China can potentially double the number of iPhone users.



    Apple should just stop wasting time, and just give Chinese people what they want. If they want it in red, give it to them. Many Apple investors are not as rich as Apple "deciders". And yes, these investors want Apple to grow. "Lets go get Chinese money", Steve!
  • Reply 17 of 69
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Despite the "repression", China is very slow to change in certain areas. Not all of its population is interested in Western-style democracy. This communist country (not quite communist anymore) has modernized and instituted key reforms. The Chinese are making their brand of communism work. The Asian mind is certainly not the same as the Western mind. And for all of its "repression", China is doing quite well economically. It has emerged as a true superpower. The US owes China upwards of $2 trillion. It would be very, very hard-pressed to pay it back today. China has, in fact, become one of the world's biggest lenders. The focus on how fast will Asian countries "catch up" to the West - is a false focus. The true focus ought to be on how fast will Western hyper-inflating economies collapse, reaching the level of "Asia" today.



    Yes, China faces some challenges in terms of catching up in areas of human rights (that is, Western notions of "human rights". They are not universal.) But don't assume widepsread oppression, and don't assume that everyone is clamouring for democracy. China is not the old Soviet Union. The Chinese at large don't care for Western customs and Western modes of thought. They lay claim to a 1000+ year old culture and philosopy that has remained, in substantial areas, unchanged.



    China is a homogeneous society and many don't want the "white devils" or "foreign devils" and their corrupting influence. For all these Western notions of "oppression" and lack of "freedom", the average Chinese is not only suspicious of the West, but regards him/herself as superior. And in many ways, they'd be right in thinking so. A constant stream in Chinese thought has been that they are heirs to the world, that theirs is the "Middle Kingdom" (Chung-Kuo) around which everything else revolves. They prefer to infiltrate the West and return with knowledge for the benefit of China. And really, who can blame them? They have been doing this kind of thing successfully for over a thousand years.



    China is making Socialism work. It is imperfect, and has a long road ahead. But it's still standing. There are no walls to be torn down here. And this has caused a backlash in the West due to the raging disbelief of it all. It is almost an insult to have a working model of Socialism beside a Democratic West that seems to be falling apart. For China, Socialism has proved to be just as adaptable as any other system. Classical Marxism in not Soviet-era communism.



    Don't assume that another culture's notion of "freedom" is the same as your own.



    You paint quite the racist image of the Chinese.



    I don't think the majority of Americans dislike socialism, it is the going to jail for speaking your mind that turns people off. Other than that, if they can provide a reasonable living standard for the half of the population at retirement age we will see.

    Americans (although 1/3 the population of China) are blaming Union Labor for their woes. It is simple math. Prior to the "baby boom" there were enough people to support rich living standards for retirees. Now that it is the reverse, and the "boomers" are retiring, they didn't make enough babies to support their fat pensions, and they didn't put enough money into the funds to support them either. Now this generation of workers has to pay out more to keep the same standard, and it is falling apart.

    My point is, China crippling their population will come back to collapse their way of living as it stands now, or they will just kill the old people so they don't rob the young of their resources. In the US, we are trying every way imaginable to support the retirees. And it is difficult but not impossible. To say we are at a near collapse is over stating your case.
  • Reply 18 of 69
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by em_te View Post


    Needless to say it probably won't have the YouTube app, which I think is banned in China. I wonder if they'll somehow block the Twitter app in the App Store?



    Indeed.



    Am I the only one that thinks this is a rather despicable development to have the iPhone in China?



    How will the app store work, or will Apple actually give them control over app distribution as they have previously insisted? How will iTunes work if someone want's to post a political podcast?



    I find it beyond the pale that Apple will ban boobies and joke applications and things in *my* countries App store, just because someone in the USA thinks they are "immoral" or some such bullsh*t. Yet they are willing to let China repress everyone's freedom over there in the name of doing business in an "important market."



    When will *any* American company get some kind of moral fibre of their own and refuse to do business with the Chinese fascists? Why do we get all this "holier than thou" crap from the USA but then they turn around and sell all their principles south to do business with China?



    When it comes to freedom the USA has always stood squarely in the hypocrite camp IMO.
  • Reply 19 of 69
    pridonpridon Posts: 81member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 15inchbrich View Post


    Anyone think they might disable WiFi via Software and not hardware? Just a thought....



    Don't they sell iPod Touches in China? If so, I don't understand what blocking wi-fi on the iphone would do.



    Anyone in China reading this who could explain?
  • Reply 20 of 69
    jaytrjaytr Posts: 7member
    All businesses must focus on profit. Why would Apple give away control of its profits by giving any mobile phone service provider (or government) control of its profit engines/models? That would be incredibly stupid, and yet, many foreign companies have done just that (and have gotten really burned/lost money), in order to gain access to the huge population who are mostly poor. Apple's iPhone is a luxury product in the U.S. (the richest country in the world). China's population of about 1.2 billion is mostly poor. Maybe 1-2% of China's entire population could afford the iPhone, and not all of those will choose to do so. Yes, the "middle class" in China (poor by developed countries' standards) will grow, but companies should not make stupid deals, sacrificing profits and control over the next 10 years for *potential* gains in 20-30 years. Learn more about China's economy and demographics (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy...ublic_of_China).
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