iPhones in China: One From Column A, One From Column B?

This image described by iPhone, Apple, China Mobile, China Unicom, Iphone-china-talks

We've already reported on Apple's deal to sell standalone iPhones in bulk to China Unicom.  Turns out the deal is not exclusive to CU, and the House of Jobs is still in talks with China Mobile, despite ongoing issues with how the App Store would be run/regulated in China.

"I can confirm it is not an exclusive deal," said Apple spokesperson Natalie Harrison, regarding the Apple/Unicom deal.  It's important to point out, though, that to date CU is the only wireless carrier in Mainland China that supports the iPhone's WCDMA 3G standard.  China Mobile runs the non-standard TD-SCDMA protocol, but recently got permission from the Chinese government to begin building WCDMA networks.

As for the App Store: Apple would need to apply for a "value-added telecommunications business license" to operate the App Store in China.  This would also mean government monitoring of the store, coupled with the need to have the store and apps physically located on Chinese servers.  Apple has given no indication that it's ready to give up that much control of the App Store, especially since it's an integral part of the iPhone experience.

[Via Ars Technica]

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