As “G-Day” approaches and suburban Beijing start to get their 3G signal, we are still speculating about the arrival of the iPhone. Rather than relying on official announcements, pundits are now looking further up the iPhone supply chain to make predictions about how and who will bring the iPhone to China.
Earlier this week, DigiTimes reported that Apple have been stockpiling memory chips that started a webwide rumour that Apple will be launching either a new iPhone or a 32Gig version of the 3G one. This was followed by another order by Apple to component integrators to be ready to ship 4 million iPhone by the end of June 2009.
Add to this the recent agreement between Apple and Jiangsu electronics distributor (acquired by Best Buy) Five Star Appliance to be a “tier one” distributor for Apple products and it looks like the pieces are falling together for an Apple blitzkrieg by the middle of 2009.
The question though of which Chinese carrier will officially be bringing the iPhone here is still in the air. Previous rumors that Unicom would be launching the iPhone along with their WCDMA 3G service on the 17th May have now been denied by Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing who recently said:
China Unicom is negotiating with Apple, but the two sides are still considering the conditions and the negotiation may be successful or may not.
Right. For all we know, Dell might be the hottest mobile phone company in China by the middle of this year as they seem to have decided to commence talks with China Mobile as well.
Image by Robert Scoble