iPhonAsia Comment: China Unicom knows that Apple is under an NDA with China Mobile and there have been reports that Apple and China Mobile have agreed to exclusive negotiations as long as they proceed in good faith. There is also some evidence that China Mobile wants Apple to deliver a customized (enhanced to support China Mobile data services) TD iPhone 3G that will support TD-SCDMA. If China Mobile is pushing for too many of their own services and otherwise limiting or closing off too many iPhone services (e.g. MobileMe, the AppStore, etc.), then this could cause Apple to look to China Unicom as a carrier partner. It is also possible that Apple could eventually offer iPhone through both of China’s powerhouse carriers – China Mobile with 407 million subscribers and China Unicom/Netcom 165 million subscribers.
In the article below, Chang Xiaobing is quoted as suggesting that a “2.5G iPhone would be launched in China.” If true, this would run counter to China Mobile’s stated desire to promote TD-SCDMA.
Full article > HERE
EXCERPT: Chang said the merged entity would be interested in launching the iPhone when the company gets a 3G license. He declined to comment whether Unicom is holding talks with Apple (nasdaq: AAPL) on the matter.
Chang believes the 2.5G version of the iPhone is likely to be launched in China.