Apple iPhone with Wi-Fi may soon enter China

China Unicom hopes to bring iPhones with Wi-Fi to China

China Unicom, the only mobile network operator selling iPhones in China, is in talks with Apple to sell a version of the popular smartphone with Wi-Fi, something the companies could not do previously due to government regulations.

Wi-Fi is seen as important to the success of the iPhone in China because many people want to use the devices to surf the Web, but don't want to pay higher data rates for using the mobile network. China so far has required mobile phones with Wi-Fi also to support WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure), a homegrown security protocol. Versions of the iPhone on sale now in China do not offer Wi-Fi.

"I know that in the market there is hope we will offer an iPhone with Wi-Fi," said Chang Xiaobing, chairman and CEO of China Unicom, outside an event in Beijing. "We have been holding talks with Apple in this area."

Chang did not give a timetable for any release. When asked if the phone will come with WAPI, he said the phone will satisfy demands in the Chinese market.

Sales of the iPhone in China have disappointed some industry watchers, who blame slow uptake of the smartphones on a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that users who want one can buy an iPhone for a lower price, and with Wi-Fi, in neighboring Hong Kong. The 32GB iPhone 3GS with no service contract costs 6,999 yuan (US$1,024) in China, compared to about US$800 in Hong Kong.

Other people seek out iPhones at electronics bazaars throughout China, where entrepreneurs that have carried them into the country sell them on the gray market.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?