Apple is stepping up its product releases in the world’s largest mobile market
The report follows news that China Unicom will be selling the iPhone 4 in early September, less than three months after that device was released in the U.S.
China Unicom, with 315 million subscribers, is China’s second-largest carrier and Apple’s (AAPL) exclusive partner in China — at least for now. The chairman of China Mobile (CHL), the world’s largest carrier with more than 500 million wireless subscribers, said in May that his company had a keen interest in the iPad.
It was only last week that China Unicom was allowed to sell the Wi-Fi version of the iPhone 3GS that had been available in the rest of the world for more than a year. Chinese government restrictions on high-speed Internet access had prevented Apple and China Unicom from marketing any device in China equipped with a Wi-Fi radio.
Now that those restrictions have been lifted, Apple seems to be moving aggressively to put the Chinese market on the same product release timetable as the rest of Asia.
- Wi-Fi iPhones coming to China Monday
- Coming soon: 4-5 million Chinese iPhones
- China iPhone launch a ‘disappointment’
- Inside Beijing’s iPhone black market
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]