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China Unicom still not confirmed as Chinese iPhone provider

Tim Stevens
03.31.09
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Remember how last week China Unicom brazenly threw up product images for the iPhone and a few other smartphones, implying that in the very near future it would be providing service to them? Well, funny story: turns out the company's chairman, Chang Xiaobing, is now saying negotiations are actually still ongoing with Apple and that the two have a good bit of wheeling and dealing left to do. What could they possibly still be discussing? According to Barron's, the debates focus on two primary issues: a Chinese law banning WiFi use in mobile phones; and Unicom's insistence on installing its own software on the iPhone, including some sort of *gasp* non-iTunes media player. How long now until these issues are resolved? Barron's is citing research firm Wedge Partners, who indicates it may not be until the end of the year. Better stick with those gray-market imports, folks.

Read -- Negotiations still under way
Read -- Barron's

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