Sunday, May 17, 2009 – World Telecom Day – China Unicom will unveil their new WCDMA 3G network (trial launch in 55 major cities) on May 17 and may want to add some icing on the cake by announcing their new iPhone deal with Apple. It’s not a given that an announcement will happen in May as Apple may prefer to combine the new iPhone 3.0 unveiling with the “China deal” announcements. It is one thing to announce a deal, and another to actually launch. Given production, distribution and other corporate logistics, it is iPhonAsia’s view that there will be no iPhone launch in China before July 1. It is more probable that a formal launch won’t happen until mid to late summer 2009.
iPhone in China – key dates to watch
May 13, 2009 by Dan Butterfield
Monday, June 8 – World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) Keynote. The WWDC Keynote is a logical venue for the iPhone 3.0 debut along with a special iPhone in China deal announcement.
Late June or early July – Special Event TBA at Apple HQ or Mascone Center – iPhonAsia takes note of Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster’s comments today (via a May 13 PJ note to investors). Munster suggests that the 2009 WWDC will be focused on software (Snow Leopard and iPhone OS) not on new iPhone hardware. He doesn’t say why he has arrived at this conclusion, but it’s not hard to guess. Apple has been shifting away from major “unveilings” at conferences and opting instead to show new product at choreographed “special events.” (Read – Piper Jaffray: New iPhones in late June or early July). Since the new iPhones and China announcements may come in tandem, it’s entirely possible that the “iPhone in China” announcement may be moved to an Apple special event (date – TBA). Munster suggests the iPhone 3.0 unveiling event may be in late June or early July. If the iPhone 3.0 is kept under wraps for a few more weeks (early July), then Steve Jobs can participate along with special Chinese guests.
It is interesting to note that Gene Munster is looking for a family of iPhones to be unveiled in 2009 – A high end iPhone and a low cost model that might be suitable for many wireless customers in China and in other large prepaid markets. Read more > HERE