China Telecom Confirms October iPhone Launch


Apple's iPhone will arrive in China through China Unicom, which signed a three-year service deal with Apple in August and will start selling the iPhone in October.

China Unicom confirmed Monday that the iPhone 3G will go on sale in China next month for about 5,000 yuan ($733), but wasn't clear whether that price was for the 16-GB iPhone, the 32-GB iPhone, or each. The iPhone 3G will be sold through Apple retail outlets in China, China Unicom's stores and other retailers.

The move gives China Unicom exclusive rights to the iPhone in China and an advantage, for the moment, over rival China Mobile Ltd., which is China's largest wireless carrier and also said to be in talks with Apple to carry iPhone.

Chinese iPhone 3Gs will have eight different service plans to choose from, and include 120 to 880 SMS messages, 15 to 95 MMS messages, 450 MB to 4 GB of mobile data and 320 to 3,000 minutes of talk time.

China Unicom's 3G service launches on Oct. 1. China Unicom is also offering a Samsung phone on Google's Android platform that will be available starting in December, and said Monday that further 3G phones are expected in the coming months.