updated 10:25 am EST, Mon November 17, 2008
Taiwanese iPhone in Dec.
The iPhone should launch in Taiwan sometime next month, carrier Chunghwa Telecom has announced. The company says it should be the phone's exclusive carrier on the island for the foreseeable future, and has set a rough timeframe of December 2008. No subscription plans have been announced, nor has Chunghwa provided an estimate of phone prices. The carrier will however have to compete with gray-market phones from New Zealand, Hong Kong and even the US, which have been selling for the equivalent of $667 or more.
The announcement of a Taiwanese iPhone could presage the release of a Chinese model, as some Taiwanese executives have previously said that Chinese input code would be finished before that for Taiwan. It is thus believed that both language systems are now finished, leaving little obstacle to deployment in mainland China. Apple is already searching for iPhone workers in the country, and reports have pointed to specialized hardware without Wi-Fi or 3G. The Chinese government is said to pushing for a local cellular standard, TD-SCDMA, instead of conventional 3G.