In related news, it does sound as if China Unicom bent over backwards a bit to make this all come together, with the article stating that it signed on to move between one and two million units per year regardless of how many consumers actually show up to buy one. If you'll recall, an eerily similar agreement has Russian operators in a world of financial hurt, but we get the feeling the reception in China will be quite a bit warmer. At any rate, it's noted that Unicom will be snapping up the devices from Apple at a cost of around 3,000 Chinese yuan apiece ($439), with end users being asked to pay an undisclosed lesser amount on contract. If all goes well, the units could hit Chinese shops as early as September, though only time will tell how everything shakes out. Oh, and considering that Apple can hardly keep up with iPhone 3GS demand as it is, we suspect it'll want to wait a few months anyway before stressing its supply channels further.
Update: A China Unicom spokeswoman has now been quoted as saying that "we have made progress but there are still some problems to be resolved." Really? Another round of this?