Update August 28, 2009: via Forbes China – A spokeswoman for China Unicom, the country’s No. 2 mobile player, confirmed that the company will discuss its iPhone deal with Apple during a scheduled Friday press conference to report its half-year earnings. She declined to disclose whether Unicom has in fact signed an agreement with Apple.
August 26: Reuters is reporting that an iPhone in China deal announcement is imminent … as soon as Friday. Read details > HERE
I am skeptical that an Apple/China Unicom iPhone deal announcement will come on Friday as there are likely two iPhones in the approval pipeline – models A1324 and A1325. The WiFi enabled model (A1325) may still be in CTTL testing and Apple may not want to make a deal official until both iPhones have received their network access licenses, which could take another month or so.
Apple may also be having renewed converations with China Mobile … yes there’s “something” to this rumor. Two China iPhone carrier deals would not be a surprise.
That said … it would not be a shock for an August China Unicom iPhone announcement. This deal has been in the works since March. Adding fuel to this “imminent announcement” rumor is a post today via JLM Pacific Epoch … an “authoritative” insider says that Unicom will announce the iPhone’s release on Friday.
More background >