As we know, China Unicom is expecting to offer its customers the new iPhone 4S at some point later this year, and now it appears that it has just comes a little closer to reality and we could see the iPhone 4S making its debut in China in the not too distant future.
According to Sina, the device has arrived at the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), and it has already been approved.
Just in case this is the first time you heard about MIIT, it’s actually a state agency of China responsible for regulation and development of the Internet and wireless. So, the local media reported that the iPhone 4S has already passed the MIIT’s tests, and the department will issue the network access permit for the 4S in one to two weeks. If everything goes well, the 4S will be ready to go on sale in China, and local carrier China Unicom will be offering the device too. However, spokespeople for Apple and local carrier China Unicom have so far declined to comment.
If the rumor is true, it will be another step forward into getting the latest Apple smartphone tech into the handset of the Chinese public and one large possible boost for the Apple coffers. Meanwhile, China Unicom is dropping the 16/32GB iPhone 4 in preparation for the 8GB iPhone 4, and the move actually indicates that China Unicom will focus on the new iPhone 4S and carry the 8GB iPhone 4 as an inexpensive entry-level handset.
We all know China is a huge market for Apple and there is no doubt this deal will increase the company’s bottomline. China Unicom is the country’s number 2 carrier. China Mobile, the country’s leader, is said to have 10 million iPhone users signed up despite not having a deal with Apple yet for a handset on its TD-LTE network (in other words, they’re only making calls and sending texts). As for China Telecom, the nation’s third largest carrier, may have to wait a few months longer before bringing Apple’s most wanted smartphone to its subscribers. The device would arrive on China Telecom by February or March 2012 at the earliest.
p.s. Guess what, scalpers are already selling the iPhone 4S outside the Beijing Apple store, but Apple is not selling the device yet…