China Unicom, the mobile operator which seems set to become an official iPhone carrier in the region, has dismissed rumours that it has already penned an agreement and will purchase a whopping 5 million iPhones to cater to the domestic market.
Yi Difei, a spokesman for China Unicom, officially claimed that the recent reports on are “not true”, but ascertains that the discussions with Apple for the proposed deal are still on-going.
Quoting the same, Yi Difei said in a statement, “Talks between us and Apple have been going on for some time, but no agreement has been reached yet. There are all kinds of possibilities. There is no particular timetable for the talks.”
Mr Yi refused to provide any details on the proposed deal, but he rejected a report by the newspaper China Business News claiming that China Unicom has secured a three-year exclusive iPhone agreement.
However, the newspaper quoted a sales manager for one of the Unicom’s subsidiary in the southern province of Guangdong as its source of the information, and claimed that the iPhone would officially go on sale in the month of September at French retailer Carrefour SA’s outlets in the country.
Apple also apparently denied the reports as well, through its spokeswoman Tiffany Yang, who said that she had no details about an iPhone deal in China. Go To Page 2 for our comments and more related links.
There is no smoke without fire. The rumours about the purchase by China Unicom of so many iPhones can only be good for Apple even if at the end of the day, the deal doesn't go through. China is the biggest mobile phone market in the world though and Apple can only ignore it for so long. Other manufacturers like Lenovo and HTC, are about to crack it open.