On the internet grapevine, a story surfaced yesterday that had China Unicom launching Apple’s new 3G iPhone here on the mainland come August.
The wildly popular iPhone 1.0 never made it to the PRC (well not officially, the local grey market was pretty well supplied). The rift between folks over at Cupertino and Chinese wireless carriers was over Apple’s subscription revenue sharing business model, one that would have had the carrier partner giving Apple a portion of the carrier’s voice/data revenue. But, that’s all in the past. Apple dropped the old model and China Unicom didn’t take long to hitch onto the iPhone bandwagon, or so the report claimed.
But, before we even had time to clap our hands and say yeah, a Unicom spokesperson quickly refuted the report, calling the rumor “rubbish”(一派胡言). Oh well, there is always the grey market, and of course the requisite dodgy phone sales guy.