updated 12:10 pm EDT, Tue August 4, 2009
Apple field trip to China
Apple executives are scheduled to fly into China this week, according to a source identified by regional news site Sina. The officials are specifically said to be heading to Beijing, with the express purpose of discussing the iPhone with peers at China Unicom. Apple executives may also be meeting with officials from the country's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which has been handling testing for a local model.
Among the people in Apple's team is said to be Greg Joswiak, the VP of iPhone product marketing, who the International Business Times suggests may be leading negotiations. Joswiak was also responsible for talks when a China Unicom team flew to California in March.
A Chinese iPhone is reportedly very close to completion, having already been spotted last week in the form of a test model branded for Unicom. Shanghai Securities News in fact claimed that a three-year contract had been signed, only to be contradicted by a statement from Unicom itself. Tech.QQ has suggested that the carrier may be prepared to pay Apple a subsidy of 3,000 yuan ($439) for each phone; devices may however lack Wi-Fi, in keeping with government restrictions.