Remember that WAPI
-compliant version of the iPhone approved back in May
? Yeah, well, China Unicom
is just now getting around to rolling it out, promising it'll be available next week in the form of an 8GB 3GS for an incredible 4,999 yuan (about $739). As far as we can tell, the phone will be compatible both with straight WiFi and WAPI wireless networks, which is a big step for the country -- traditionally, the Chinese iPhone has been WiFi-free while the iPod touch has gone unfettered, the result of bureaucracy, product categorization, and strange laws that don't fly in many other locales. On a related note, rumor has it that the iPhone 4 -- presumably also with WiFi / WAPI -- is on track for a September 1 release, so if the 3GS is feeling a little too 2009 for you, you may not have long to wait.