iPhonAsia comment: Two key takeaways from today’s “iPhone in China” news (or more accurately “rumors”):
1) China Unicom has apparently agreed to preload iTunes on an “official” iPhone through China Unicom. Will this include Apple’s App Store as well? We hope so. China Unicom too (like China Mobile) has big plans for their own VAS platform and to make this concession is significant! iPhonAsia is predicting (wild ass guess) that an official iPhone in China will come preloaded with several “popular in China” services (e.g. Youku).
2) China Unicom has agreed to a pre-purchase of iPhones for their own inventory as part of a formal deal. Hey, a million iPhones here and a million there, and pretty soon were looking at a nice contribution to Apple’s (AAPL) bottom line revenues.
Sidebar: The news snippet below is from JLM Pacific Epoch. After following the iPhone in China story closely for about 18 months, you begin to notice trends in news services’ reports. Certain news services seem to tap into “source info” (e.g. iDeals in China has sources in the handset case industry and other news services receive tips from telecom insiders) … Some tips are bogus and others are right on the mark. Who’s hot of late? Without a doubt it is JLM Pacific Epoch followed closely by Interfax and the reporting of Cindy Geng. Everyone else has been picking up the JLM Pacific Epoch and Interfax posts and running with them … usually a day or week late. For example, much hoo ha was made over Ovum Consulting Group’s (Sherrie Huang’s) report on a likely China Unicom/Apple accord. Ovum’s February report was old news for regular iPhonAsia readers and ample source info appeared to come from Cindy Geng’s Jan 16 Interfax post. iPhonAsia was also out with the story on Jan. 16 thanks to eagle eyes on Interfax. Cindy Geng was kind enough to respond to iPhonAsia comments/questions.
Sidebar 2: For more on the rumored (forthcoming) Apple and China Unicom “finalize the deal” meeting in Cupertino see > HERE
via JLM Pacific Epoch China Unicom (NYSE:CHU, 762.HK, 600050.SH) plans to release the WCDMA network in selected areas on May 1 and cover 248 cities by the end of the year, reports Sohu quoting company Chairman Chang Xiaobing. Previous reports said WCDMA would launch on May 17 and cover 282 cities before the end of the year.
An unnamed source said Unicom plans to give Apple (Nasdaq:APPL) certain rewards after securing the iPhone, including purchasing a fixed amount of the phones and pre-installing the Apple iTunes store, reports Beijing Business Today. Rumors in mid-February said Unicom began testing the iPhone in Henan and Hebei provinces two weeks earlier.