According to Yahoo, the iPhone is now one step closer to its official Chinese launch. Apple has finally applied for a Chinese network access license for the phone, and last week submitted it to the Telecommunication Technology Labs for testing.
The good: The iPhone could be available via China Unicom in as little as three months, and 3G support has already been approved.
The bad: It may not come wifi-enabled. The phone submitted to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technologies had that function disabled, and Apple has been unwilling to tweak the phone to support WAPI, a China-specific wifi security protocol that may or may not let the government drop in and spy on you.
Wifi capability has long been a key sticking point between the two sides; the Chinese have been firmly against opening (government-owned) carriers up to the threat of cell phone users making VoIP calls, and Apple has (until now) been equally against introducing anything other than a fully-functional phone.
If you just can’t wait to get your hands on the new phone (or if you value your wifi), we’ve heard that the 3GS can be had for about RMB4,800 at your favorite electronics market.
Photo from textually.org