updated 09:35 am EDT, Fri August 6, 2010
Should increase device's appeal
As leaked yesterday, an iPhone with Wi-Fi will go on sale in China on Monday, a China Unicom spokesman confirms. Unlike other countries, China will only have access to an 8GB model with Wi-Fi, at least at first. Current 16 and 32GB models are being sold without the networking technology, says the Associated Press.
Apple initially stripped Wi-Fi from Chinese iPhones before putting them on sale through Unicom last October. Local regulations were blamed, namely the communist government's insistence that cellphones use the homegrown WAPI standard. Such obstacles have since fallen away however, clearing the path for fully-equipped devices.
Unicom may still have a difficult time selling iPhones, even if a basic feature has been restored. Chinese models are expensive even in comparison to American counterparts, prompting many people to turn to surrounding countries, where the product is not only cheaper but Wi-Fi-enabled in all capacities. China is believed to have a thriving gray iPhone market, with millions of phones.