WAPI + WiFi on 2nd new iPhone for China?
Here’s another interesting story from the iPhone in China rumor-front … China Business News has a post today quoting a Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) source who claims that an iPhone (presumably Model A1324) without WiFi will be ready by September.
But wait, there’s more! … The same Foxconn source whispers that another special iPhone model for China is under development. This second model iPhone for China is a WiFi/WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure (WAPI)-capable prototype (presumably Model A1325), which may be ready for mass production by late 2009. Note: Model A1325 will support bandwidth 2400 – 2483.5 MHz (see image below). This band is currently used for a variety of technologies today, including Bluetooth, cordless phones, and 802.11 (WiFi).
Second source: In an August 3rd post, Marbridge Consulting cites an anonymous source with China Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) who reveals that “Apple has sent a China-targeted version of its iPhone to Chinese testing authorities for testing, and has tasked its engineers with finding a way to implement a WAPI module in the iPhone.”
There you have it! We may have two iPhones specially built for China … one with WAPI/WiFi and one without (Read also prior rumor over two iPhones for China > HERE). If this rumor proves true, the loudest “what! no WiFi?” critics will have to find another reason to dis iPhone. For those who have an interest, I discussed the “no-WiFi” matter with Ken Ray on the August 15 Mac OS Ken podcast > HERE
The CBN post claims that the second special iPhone for China (Model A1325 - dual WAPI/WiFi*) was submitted in July to China Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) for the mandatory network licensing tests. This process can take weeks or months, depending on the test results and the disposition of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).
The first iPhone for China (model A1324 without WiFi) was reportedly sent in to the CTTL for testing in April. This model received its Radio Transmission Equipment Certificate (RTEC) in May, but is still pending the all important network access license (NAL). Interfax TMT reported on August 20, that the first iPhone (A1324) “will soon be awarded its NAL.”
More background … As previously reported on iPhonAsia, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently (May 2009) modified their “no WiFi” policy for mobile phones. The new policy will allow WiFi, but only if the handset also includes WAPI, China’s home-grown standard. China has much national pride invested in the development of WAPI and it’s no surprise that authorities are mandating its inclusion. The development of a WAPI/WiFi iPhone (presumably Model A1325) would be a blow to grey-market importers who were counting on the “official” iPhone for China with WiFi disabled, thereby ensuring a strong ongoing demand for unlocked and hacked (loaded w China apps) iPhone 3GS smuggled into China from Hong Kong, New Zealand and Italy.
* More background about WiFi/WAPI on iPhone in China: