Zhou Youmeng, deputy general manger for the China Unicom Guangdong branch, confirmed this news in chat with SinoCast Daily Business Beat yesterday, the report suggests.
The iPhone will be made available in China Unicom outlets in the Carrefour Guangdong stores and “some self-run outlets”, apparently. China Unicom has purchased as many as five million WCDMA network-based iPhones fron Apple.
Key here is that in order to get into the Chinese market, Apple has given up the revenue-sharing deal it had until now insisted on, a compromise China Unicom demanded in order it should ship the product in the huge population country. The report adds Apple usually gets 20-30 per cent of revenue generated from iPhone users.
“The fact is that Apple get fat profits from iPhone sales, even if it does not share revenue with its new collaborator," said a source close to the original equipment manufacturer,” the report continues.
However, for all this certainty it appears some sticking points remain in finalising the deal, with a China Unicom spokesman warning that “there are uncertainties” before final agreement is reached.
That uncertainty leads us to warn that this mooted Sptember launch may be delayed, even while Dell prepares to enter the territory imminently.
Despite the stop/start nature of these Apple/China Unicom announcements so far, we do note that a senior team of Apple execs, led by Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPod and iPhone Product Marketing, visited China last week.