Posting via my iPhone on a 737 now awaiting push-back.
Saw this and wanted to add a quick post.
More details and analysis later.
Interfax.cn is reporting this morning that China Unicom will not include iPhone as part of a WCDMA handset tender in March. In other words, China Unicom won’t be immediately purchasing hundreds of thousands of the current model (already WCDMA ready) iPhones for its inventory. This does not mean that Apple and China Unicom won’t have something to say in June. It’s happening … really!
More later… Got to fly now 8)
It’s now later … here’s the Interfax post – Tue 03 Feb 2009
“[The tender] won’t be as big as handset purchases by other operators.”
Beijing. February 3. INTERFAX-CHINA – China Unicom plans to purchase WCDMA handsets in March 2009, a China Unicom source toldInterfax on Feb. 2, while denying recent rumors that Apple’s iPhone will be part of the operator’s first wave of 3G devices.
Unicom Vsens Telecommunications Technology Co. Ltd., China Unicom’s subsidiary in charge of WCDMA handset procurement, will purchase WCDMA handsets in March to tie in with the operator’s planned release of WCDMA numbers on May 17, a source in China Unicom’s terminal management center, who asked not to be identified, said.
“Although the precise amount of the purchase has not yet been revealed, it won’t be as big as handset purchases by other operators, as there are already many WCDMA handsets on the market. The main purpose of the tender is to introduce and promote WCDMA services,” the source said.
The source also scotched recent rumors that Apple’s iPhone could see its official debut in China through the tender, denying that any would be purchased by the operator this round.
China Unicom announced its timetable for WCDMA services in January 2009, under which it said it would purchase WCDMA network equipment for 55 cities in January, commence network construction in February and release WCDMA numbers and services on May 17, 2009.
According to the source, under China Unicom’s recent WCDMA network tender, 77,272 base stations were purchased in total. Of these, 23,645 will come from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., 20,527 from Ericsson Ltd., 16,544 base stations from ZTE Corp., 8,659 base stations from Nokia Siemens Networks and 7,897 base stations from Alcatel Shanghai Bell.
Interfax commentary: Although there is no news on the iPhone front this time, many believe that China Unicom and Apple are still in talks, although nothing is likely to emerge in the first half of this year. While it is still possible in theory that China Mobile could cooperate with Apple in releasing a 2G GSM iPhone, this is increasingly unlikely, as China Mobile’s focus is squarely on its 3G TD-SCDMA services, and a 2G iPhone would be overshadowed by a 3G version from an opposing operator.
iPhonAsia commentary: We agree with Interfax however we feel that a deal with China Mobile could be for a specialized “TD” iPhone 3G … a customized iPhone supporting TD-SCDMA 3G and EDGE 2.5G. This could be a full size iPhone or a Nano form factor. A customized iPhone for China Mobile would likely support China Mobile’s value added services (Monternet) platform and may not support all of Apple’s services.
Read Interfax post > HERE
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