BEIJING — Consumers in China, the largest mobile phone market in the world, appear on the verge of getting the Apple iPhone 4, as early as September, official reports say.
China Unicom, the country’s second-largest mobile carrier, will start offering the iPhone 4 next month, according a late Tuesday report from the state-run Caixin media group.
Last week, The Wall Street Journal, reported that Apple would soon start selling an iPhone with Wi-Fi capabilities in China. Last Oct. in China, Apple started selling the iPhone 3GS, a smartphone that lacked Wi-Fi.
That was due to Beijng’s rule that all smartphones sold in China use the a home-grown standard called Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure, or WAPI. Wi-Fi in mobile devices is also seen as a free alternative to paid 3G services.
Apple and Unicom also will bring out the iPad tablet, a device already visible in coffee shops around the capital – one that, like many iPhones here, are being used with Wi-Fi because consumers bought them overseas and have cracked them for use with SIM cards from No. 1 mobile carrier, China Mobile.
Caixin did not confirm that the iPhone 4 would be Wi-Fi-enabled. The Journal’s report claimed it would. Apple has yet to confirm the iPhone 4’s release in China.
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