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iPhone leads to surge in China Mobile's high-speed data subscribers

02/20, 4:07pm

Rival carriers see stagnation

China Mobile added 14 million more high-speed data subscribers in January, a growth faster than at any other time in its history, according to data from Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. The 7.4 percent increase is attributed mainly to the iPhone, which Mobile started selling on January 17th. In December, by contrast, Mobile's high-speed base grew by less than 6 percent.

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China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom gain TD-LTE licenses

12/04, 7:58am

Issued licenses allow for 4G LTE cellular usage in China

The three major carriers in China have been issued licenses to operate TD-LTE networks in the country. The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has provided the licenses to China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom today, which opens the door to Chinese mobile users being able to use faster mobile connections in the future.

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iPhone 5s, 5c getting high carrier subsidies in China

09/17, 12:42pm

Carriers offering iPhones for 'free' on some plans

Chinese carriers are heavily subsidizing the iPhone 5s and 5c to make them affordable in the country, rate cards show. Off-contract, even a 16GB 5c is 4,488 yuan, or over $730. China Unicom however has eight plans under which a 5c is available for free. At China Telecom, even the 5s is available for "free" under three plans, although these involve extremely long contracts and/or high fees.

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China Unicom surpasses 100,000 iPhone 5s/5c reservations

09/16, 1:00pm

Apple Store pre-order shipping dates hold fast

With less than a week till the launch of the iPhone 5c and 5s, China Unicom has announced that it has received more than 100,000 reservations. The announcement comes less than a week after Apple's announcement, and despite the fact that the company has yet to release any details on its plan to subsidize the devices. However, Bloomberg has received word from analysts that the subsidies are likely be "more conservative" compared to ones offered for the iPhone 5.

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Apple gains regulatory approval for China Mobile-compatible iPhone

09/11, 9:22am

Carrier's plans to sell device still unofficial

China's Telecom Equipment Certification Center has granted a network access license for an iPhone compatible with China Mobile, according to the agency's website. The TECC has also granted fresh licenses for iPhones compatible with China Unicom and China Telecom, but Mobile has never before sold the iPhone. The certification adds to the evidence that Mobile will start carrying the device in the near future.

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China Unicom reaches 300,000 pre-orders for iPhone 5 debut

12/11, 2:20am

Figure achieved in under a week; sales to commence Friday

China's second-largest carrier, China Unicom, has announced on its Sina Weibo blog that it has already reached 300,000 pre-orders for the iPhone 5, four days ahead of its retail debut and four days after it began accepting pre-orders. The company reported that 100,000 reservations had been taken on the first full day of pre-ordering, and it reached 200,000 pre-orders on the second day. Though the iPhone had been seen to be losing market share in China during the previous quarter, this may represent pent-up demand for the latest model.

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China Unicom takes over 200K iPhone 5 reservations

12/06, 5:05pm

Phone falls to sixth place in Chinese market

China Unicom has already recorded over 200,000 reservations for the iPhone 5, the carrier has announced. It hit the mark in just two days, doubling the 100,000 achieved during the first day. Unicom is also saying that it will offer a full subsidy for the handset, but with a minimum deposit of 5,899 RMB (about $947 US) for a 16GB model. That money will be refunded on a monthly basis, with the exact credit depending on the length of the contract. 32 and 64GB models are also available, but with higher deposits.

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Chinese preorder 100,000 iPhones after release announcement

12/04, 12:20am

Orders taken within hours of announcement, devices ship December 14

According to a report on Sina Tech, China Unicom announced that it has received 100,000 iPhone 5 orders on its first day of preorder sales. Rival wireless operator China Telecom has been taking preorders for weeks, but began formal sales of the handset on Sunday and sold 5,000 sales of the hotly-anticipated device on its first day. The phone's ultimate release in China was announced last week, with products shipping on December 14. The new Apple phone has been available in 47 other countries, including Hong Kong and Japan, since September.

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iPhone 5 gets final approvals from Chinese government

11/29, 10:22am

Could be on sale by mid-December

China's Ministry of Industry and Technology has given approval to the iPhone 5, clearing the way for the phone's sale in the country, reports say. Filings mention WCDMA and CDMA-2000 editions, indicating that the country's current official iPhone carriers -- China Unicom and China Telecom -- will remain the only ones for the foreseeable future. The 5 is expected on sale as soon as mid-December.

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iPhone 5 expected in China by early December

11/09, 12:41pm

Could show up as soon as late November

China Telecom will begin carrying the iPhone 5 by early December, chairman Wang Xiaochu tells the Wall Street Journal. The device is still awaiting final approval from Chinese wireless regulators, but Wang claims that Telecom will have the 5 on sale in early December if not earlier. Chang Xiaobing, the chairman of rival iPhone carrier China Unicom, is less committal. "We hope to offer it this year, but what I say doesn't matter," he remarks, referring to the wait for certifications.

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Hong Kong out of iPhone 5; China Unicom selling out of 4S

10/08, 1:34pm

Unicom allegedly preparing for December iPhone 5 launch

Shops in Hong Kong are still sold out of the iPhone 5, according to Topeka Capital Markets' Brian White. The analyst is currently touring Asia, and says that in Hong Kong all of the stores he visited were out of the new iPhone. "At Apple's retail store, the iPhone 5 can be ordered online and a lottery process determines who is eligible for pickup at the store the next day," he comments in a new investor memo. "Based on our conversations, you might have a better shot at winning the lottery than getting the iPhone 5 the next day."

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China Unicom rumored to get iPhone 5 by year's end

09/05, 12:26pm

Would halt cycle of long delays in Chinese launches

Sources inside China Unicom are claiming that the iPhone 5 could launch with the carrier by the end of the year, according to Sohu IT. The people say that executives, including deputy general manager Li Gang, have finished a successful negotiation round with Apple, and expect the phone to be available on Unicom before 2013. The deal is said to have been struck based on a successful visit to the US in August.

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China Unicom in talks to extend partnership with Apple

06/20, 9:36am

Deal so far producing 'better-than-expected results'

Carrier China Unicom is in negotiations with Apple to renew the partnership the two companies forged in June 2009, according to Marbridge Consulting. At the time the parties signed a three-year deal to bring the iPhone to China for the first time. Unicom was in fact the only official Chinese iPhone carrier until March of this year, when China Telecom was allowed to join the fray.

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Gartner: Samsung has 3X Apple's smartphone share in China

03/11, 11:20pm

Samsung has 24pc of China sartphones

Gartner on Sunday revealed the extent to which Apple's share of China's smartphones trailed others. Although Apple leads worldwide, it sat at 7.5 percent, or fifth place, in China's sphere. Samsung, in the lead at 24.3 percent, had over three times as much share.

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China Telecom wing: iPhone 4S due as soon as late February

01/30, 11:35pm

China Telecom may have iPhone 4S in a month

China Telecom sub-label Beijing Telecom stated Tuesday local time that a China Telecom-native iPhone 4S was expected within about a month. It said the CDMA version would "likely" reach the network by late February or early March, China Daily said. Apple's device had already been given regulatory clearance for China Telecom's network and would face few barriers.

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Huawei Honor with Android 4.0 ships in China

01/23, 10:30am

Honor second handset to ship with Android 4.0

Huawei began shipping its Honor smartphone to China Unicom late last week. The Honor joins the Galaxy Nexus in that it ships preloaded with Android 4.0, the latest mobile OS from Google. Otherwise, the handset has a single-core, 1.4GHz processor, 4-inch, 480x854 touchscreen and an eight-megeapixel camera with 1080p recording, autofocus and an HDR mode.

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Dell brings Streak Pro handset to China

12/21, 4:55pm

Streak Pro coming to China with Baidu Yi OS

Best known for its computers and monitors, Dell has just announced it will soon offer its Streak Pro smartphone in China, a key market for the company. Already promised for the Japanese market, the device is the first with the Baidu Yi mobile platform from China's Internet search giant Baidu. It integrates the popular Ting music service and other cloud services also offered by the search engine.

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iPhone 4S gets Chinese network permit as Android widens lead

12/10, 12:15pm

iPhone 4S gets Network Access Permit in China

Chinese iPhone 4S buyers received good news Saturday after it was confirmed that Apple's device had received a Network Access Permit from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology earlier in the week. The clearance will give the HSPA version of the phone approval to run on China Unicom's network. Its version is identical to that available elsewhere save for its support of the China-specific WAPI standard in place of the usual Wi-Fi.

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China Unicom iPhone 4S almost ready for sale, says carrier

11/30, 4:25pm

Government permit only remaining step

China Unicom is effectively ready to sell the iPhone 4S, according to MIC Gadget. "We will start sales once we get the certificate from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology," Unicom sales executive Yu Yingtao is quoted as saying. "It's not up to us. We've already done all of our preparations, we're just waiting on the permit."

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iPhone 4S gets official approval to sell on China Unicom

11/21, 12:15pm

iPhone 4S approved in HSPA form for China

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was reported on Monday as having approved the iPhone 4S for sale in China. The HSPA 3G version of the phone has passed government tests, clearing it for sale on China Unicom. It should get a network license this week, Sina claimed.

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NFC embedded in SIM cards gains momentum

11/17, 5:40am

NFC-enabled SIM cards headed for mobile phones

The GSMA have announced that 45 of the world’s major carriers have committed to supporting SIM-based Near Field Communications (NFC). Among the carriers to pledge their support of the new standard are AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, China Mobile and China Unicom, Vodafone, and Telefonica. In making the announcement, the GSMA have now published (PDF) a new set of industry specifications to further accelerate adoption of the technology.

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China Unicom changing up iPhone 4 lineup in prep for 4S

11/08, 10:35am

iPhone 4S could reach China before end of 2011

Apple has finally discontinued 16 and 32GB models of the iPhone 4 for China Unicom, and the latter company is accelerating efforts to launch an 8GB version by the end of the month, sources close to the carrier claim. The company's general manager, Lu Yumin, has publicly stated that it is pushing to sell the iPhone 4S as soon as possible. Local reports suggest that while the 4S is still waiting for regulatory approval, it could ship by the end of 2011, preceded by an 8GB iPhone 4 as in the US.

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China Mobile already has 10m unofficial iPhone users

10/24, 3:40pm

China Mobile hints rabid demand

China Mobile chairman Wang Jianzhou disclosed at ITU World on Monday that China Mobile had over 10 million unofficial iPhone users. He hinted that Apple hadn't reached a deal for the iPhone 4S but hadn't had problems attracting users, even with full-price unlocked devices. China Unicom is the only official Chinese carrier in the country.

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China Unicom believes iPhone 5 will have 21Mbps HSPA+ 3G

09/29, 11:05am

Chinese carrier hints at 21Mbps iPhone 5 data

China Unicom Deputy Director Huang Wenliang may have inadvertently spoiled Apple's plans for a big leap in 3G performance on GSM-based iPhones in a presentation on Wednesday. Pointing out network evolution over time at Macworld Beijing, he matter-of-factly claimed that the iPhone 5 would use 21Mbps HSPA+ data that China Unicom had been adding since 2010. The Impress account of events left room open for this to be anticipatory, although China Unicom would need to have some knowledge of Apple's long-term network plans.

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Apple confirms launch of 3G iPad 2 in China

09/20, 9:30am

China Unicom quiet on support

Apple has announced plans to launch 3G models of the iPad 2 in China, which will join existing Wi-Fi options. The new hardware will go on sale Wednesday, made available through Apple's online and retail stores as well as authorized resellers. Prices have yet to be made public though, and Apple's only Chinese carrier partner -- China Unicom -- has yet to acknowledge the rollout. Unicom is in fact the only carrier in the country which can make use of the HSPA 3G supported by the iPad 2.

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China Telecom reportedly has 'Dragon Plan' to sell iPhone 5

09/14, 8:55am

China Telecom may go all out for iPhone 5 deal

China Telecom may have an all-out marketing campaign for its iPhone 5 launch if details given by a purported corporate insider. Referred to as the "Dragon Plan" by the Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, it would see the second-largest Chinese carrier spend the equivalent of $234.6 million to market Apple's hardware. Pre-orders would start in September with the expected release in October.

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3G iPad 2 wins license approval for mainland China

09/06, 9:50am

Device should finally move out of gray market

Apple should be on the verge of launching the 3G iPad 2 in mainland China, says the Wall Street Journal. An Apple device with the model number A1396 has won a network access license from China's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center, clearing the way for sales. The hardware notably supports WCDMA 3G, making it compatible with Apple's (so far) exclusive mainland carrier partner, China Unicom.

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China Unicom execs visiting Apple in US, report says

08/16, 10:40am

Carrier setting aside 1.5B yuan for marketing?

China Unicom executives have flown to the US for iPhone talks with Apple, a source claims. The person suggests that the purpose may be to sign a final contract for launching the iPhone 5 in China. Another source, described as an insider at Unicom, says that the carrier has set aside 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million US) for marketing a new iPhone.

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Verizon sees iPhone 5 in fall; China Telecom may follow

07/22, 3:20pm

Verizon hints iPhone 5 in fall as China expands

Verizon COO and soon-to-be CEO Lowell McAdam during the conference call for spring results said his company was anticipating the next iPhone's launch in the fall. Although he claimed Verizon didn't know when the new model would ship, the carrier was planning for a "significant jump" in business during the fall. Verizon had anticipated a release in the summer but didn't get that.

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China Unicom, Telecom to sell iPhone 5, firm says

07/22, 10:55am

Could be first simultaneous US-Chinese launch

At least China Unicom and China Telecom will be carrying the next-generation iPhone, claims Caixin. The Chinese analysis firm quotes an unidentified source. It adds though that China Mobile -- the world's largest cellphone carrier, with over 611 million subscribers -- will not be the first in the country to sell the new device.

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China Unicom prepping to bring over 3G iPad 2

07/19, 11:00am

China still playing catch-up with Apple products

China Unicom will "soon" send people to the US to discuss bring the 3G version of the iPad 2 to China, reports local website cctime.com as quoted by Bloomberg. In particular the information is said to come from Yu Yingtao, a manager at Unicom's sales department. Yu's information is also said to indicate though that the timing of a product launch is unknown, since it involves satisfying certain Chinese policies.

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China Telecom plans for iPhone by November

07/13, 12:15am

China Telecom gets CDMA iPhone late 2011

A late-night leak Tuesday has backed China Telecom carrying the iPhone by "close" to the end of 2011. Thanks to the existence of CDMA models, the company has all the technology and just needs to complete a deal. One Reuters tip warned that Apple's often strict negotiations didn't guarantee a deal, but another had the release narrowed down to November.

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iPhone with China Mobile logo spotted, due soon?

07/07, 11:30am

China Mobile-badged iPhone spotted, coming soon?

Apple's iPhone may be soon officially sold through carrier China Mobile, which is the world's largest carrier thanks to its 611 million subscribers. A research note from analyst Brian White of Ticonderoga Securities pointed to a Sohu.com report of an iPhone with China Mobile ID and a TD-SCDMA connection that isn't available on any current iPhone model (pictured). Thus far, China Unicom is the exclusive official provider of the iPhone, though there are as many as 5.7 million iPhone users on China Mobile using stepped down connections.

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China Unicom starts $10 iPhone plan to fend off rivals

05/25, 8:50am

China Unicom cuts price on iPhone rates

China Unicom president Lu Yimin told investors late Tuesday that his company had started offering an ultra low-cost iPhone plan. The 66 yuan ($10) plan was about a third cheaper than before and designed to curb moves from other carriers. Company CEO Chang Xiaobing saw a "trend" towards rival carriers offering services with unlocked iPhones, according to Bloomberg's version of events.

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China Telecom admits talks for CDMA iPhone

05/20, 9:15am

China Telecom confirms negotiating iPhone deal

China Telecom partly put to bed rumors of a deal with Apple by acknowledging that it was in talks for the iPhone. Chairman Wang Xiaochu said his company was "in touch" for a possible deal but couldn't say how far along any deal might be. The current carrier, China Unicom, has an exclusive that ends this year.

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K-Touch wows with high-end, Tegra 2-based Android phone

04/04, 4:40pm

Chinese maker K-Touch outs high-end Android phone

Chinese phone maker K-Touch has just shown off a new smartphone meant for the local market. The W700 is unusual in coming from a relatively unknown company but packing a high-end NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and 512MB of RAM. Android 2.2 is preloaded, leaving about 8GB of built-in storage space.

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China Unicom preps in-house Wophone OS despite Android, iOS

02/28, 6:20pm

China Unicom tries hand at own custom phone OS

China Unicom on Monday broadcast its plans to develop its own phone OS. Wophone, named after the company's Wo service, would run a custom version of Linux and target both smartphones and tablets. The strategy would help phones get to market faster by being already tailor-made for the Chinese, it said.

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Lenovo: LePad necessary to avoid being wiped out by Apple

01/28, 10:25am

Lenovo tablet needed to avoid 'phase out' by iPad

Lenovo chairman Liu Chuanzhi in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland cast the new LePad tablet and LePhone as key to his company's survival against Apple. He viewed tablets and smartphones as essential since they would be the future of the computing business. Without a good offering, any company that couldn't stand up to the iPad and iPhone would be virtually non-existent, he explained to Bloomberg.

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China Unicom begins offering contract-free iPhone 3GS

12/24, 10:20am

iPhone 4 still in 'short supply'

China Unicom has begun selling a contract-free version of the iPhone 3GS. An 8GB model -- the only 3GS currently produced by Apple -- is priced at 3,999 yuan, or about $603. Buyers can nevertheless sign up for a two-year service plan with between 33 and 58 yuan in free phone expenses per month, depending on the monthly fee package chosen.

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iPhone 4 still selling out in China, analyst says

12/20, 3:15pm

Sales 'well above' iPhone 3GS so far

The iPhone 4 is still doing very well in China, says Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White. "We continue to believe that China remains in the early stages of catching 'Apple fever' and demand for iPhone 4 has been well above the ramp of the iPhone 3GS thus far," he comments. He adds that the iPhone 4 is "sold out for two months" every where it's officially available in China, including Apple Stores, authorized resellers and carrier China Unicom.

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iPhone 4 in scarce supply in China, says analyst

12/07, 9:40am

iPad, MacBook Air also in demand

The iPhone 4 is perhaps the most difficult Apple product to find in China, claims a Ticonderoga Securities analyst, Brian White. Continuing a tour of the country, White notes that local wait times for the iPhone 4 are now closer to two months; he suggests that official carrier China Unicom is unable to fill roughly a third of pre-orders. Unmentioned by the analyst is the effect of scalping, since it's believed that many of the iPhones being sold are being picked up for resale with a markup.

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Chinese iPhone sales 'disappointing' says analyst

12/02, 1:30pm

New pricing, tech should improve situation

Sales of Chinese iPhones have been "somewhat disappointing," says Morgan Keegan's Travis McCourt. The analyst claims that while the smartphone market has "exploded" in China during 2010, growing 200 percent year-over-year, Apple and BlackBerry maker RIM sold less than 500,000 phones last quarter. BlackBerries, in fact, are still only being sold to government and businesses in the country, according to McCourt. Apple and China Unicom have not officially announced recent iPhone numbers.

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China Unicom, Telstra struggling with Chinese iPhone demand

11/24, 11:10am

Blame put partly on Apple

Carriers serving Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland are having a difficult time dealing with the country's iPhone 4 demand, a report suggests. China Unicom is said to be attributing the problem to Apple, noting that it has not kept up with orders. Unicom is believed to have ordered about 600,000 iPhone 4s, but there is no indication of how many have actually been delivered.

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China Unicom limits resale of iPhone 4

11/23, 10:45am

Carrier trying to crack gray market?

Carrier China Unicom is imposing new restrictions on local iPhone 4 buyers, according to Bloomberg. If purchased iPhones are separated from their bundled SIM cards, Unicom says, buyers may now have their deposits frozen. The move is explicitly aimed at curbing resales of the device, which have been causing serious problems for the company and the public at large.

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China Telecom reported in talks for CDMA iPhone

10/08, 2:50am

China Telecom talking to Apple, Qualcomm on iPhone

A Deutsche Bank analyst fueled further talk of a CDMA iPhone with word of a possible China Telecom deal in a research note reported today. "Intensive" supplier checks purportedly showed that the second-largest Chinese carrier was talking not only to Apple but to the CDMA chipset supplier, Qualcomm, to guarantee a deal, according to the South China Morning Post's copy of the note. It wasn't said how close a deal might be or whether there would be any changes to the rumored American design.

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China Unicom iPhone 4 sales break 100,000

09/29, 3:30pm

Carrier still attempting to fill pre-orders

China Unicom has managed to sell over 100,000 iPhone 4s since last Saturday's launch, according to the carrier's vice president, Li Gang. While fast, the sales still mean a backlog, as some 200,000 people had pre-ordered the phone as of last week. Gang says he only expects the next shipment of iPhone 4s to arrive on October 1st, China's national holiday.

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China Unicom struggles to fill 200,000 iPhone 4 pre-orders

09/27, 10:00am

Over 60,000 phones sold so far

China Unicom is having a hard time keeping up with the demand for the iPhone 4, according to official statements. The carrier notes that while it actually received some 200,000 pre-orders last week, only about 60,000 phones were sold during Saturday's launch. Of these 40,000 went to individuals, while 10,000 fulfilled direct distribution bulk orders. The remaining 10,000 units are not mentioned in a Unicom press release.

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Apple to sell iPhone 4, open 2 stores in China on Sept. 25

09/19, 10:45pm

iPhone 4 hits China Sept 25 with new stores

Apple tonight confirmed plans to launch the iPhone 4 in China and added the surprise of two new Chinese stores. The device will go on sale in the country on September 25 at 8AM local time. Official Apple stores will sell contract-free 16GB and 32GB models for 4,999 Renminbi ($743) and 5,999 Renminbi ($892); China Unicom will have it available on a two-year contract with prices to be revealed later.

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Motorola makes Android-based Ming phones official

08/30, 4:35pm

Motorola announces three Ming phones for China

Motorola on Monday officially released three new Ming-series handsets powered by Android. All are meant for the Chinese market, and include the Beihai MT810 for China Mobile’s TD-SCDMA network, the Qilin XT806 for China Telecom’s CDMA network, and the Lucky A1680 for China Unicom’s WCDMA network. Each features Chinese handwriting support for their touchscreens.

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China Unicom profits drop in spite of iPhone exclusivity

08/26, 11:05am

Marketing costs blamed

China Unicom profits fell 54 percent in the second quarter, in spite of benefits from being the only official iPhone carrier in China, Bloomberg notes. The drop is attributed partly to discounts on phones, but mostly to marketing costs, which exceeded estimates. Unicom nevertheless attracted only 4.88 million subscribers in the quarter, as compared to China Mobile's 15.2 million. Mobile also continued to dwarf Unicom in overall subscribers, with 554 million versus 157 million.

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