August 28, 2009

iPhone Goes On Sale in China

The iPhone, already one of the most popular phones in China thanks to the wonders of Jailbreaking has just gone legit.

Added as a paragraph today's China Unicom earnings statement:
On 28 August, the Company and Apple reached a three-year agreement for the Company to sell iPhone in China. The initial launch is expected to be in the fourth calendar quarter of 2009. This will provide users with brand new communication and information experience.
TechCrunch confirmed this is for both the 3G and 3GS phones.

China Unicom is the second largest telco in China with 140 million subscribers, double the size of AT&T.

And guess what, because the iPhone has a soft-keyboard it's ready to go, no retooling, no new keyboard layouts, no new models.
I'm not sure if the financial analysts have worked this out, but it's the end game in the smartphone market, and if Apple can capture China, it's going to be a long, tough slog for other vendors.