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Monday, August 16, 2010, 09:00 pm PT (12:00 am ET)

Apple set to launch iPhone 4 in China early next month

Apple will launch iPhone 4 in China in the first part of September with carrier partner China Unicom, just weeks after beginning sales of a WiFi-enabled iPhone 3GS in that market.

A report by MarketWatch, citing the Chinese Caixin media group, said a China Unicom source acknowledged that iPhone 4 will ship in the world's largest market shortly, followed by the Chinese release of iPad.

The two products won't be launched at the same time however, and no timeframe was given for the iPad launch.

China Unicom just began selling a WiFi enabled iPhone 3GS earlier this month after Chinese regulators approved the model for sale in July.

China had earlier banned the sale of WiFi products in an effort to promote its own alternative WAPI wireless networking standard, but later relented.

Apple opened its second retail store in China this summer after revealing plans to open 25 new stores in the country.

The company has experienced major new growth in China; Apple's chief operations officer Tim Cook reported 144 percent growth in the country in the most recent quarterly earnings conference call.