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Chinese iPhone gets Wi-Fi, Apple granted iPhone design patent

An updated iPhone with support for the Chinese national standard for Wi-Fi has received regulatory approval in China, while in the U.S. Apple was awarded a patent for ownership of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS design.

Chinese iPhone with WAPI Wi-Fi approved

According to IDG News, last month Chinese regulators approved a new iPhone with 3G and WAPI, or WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure. WAPI is a natively created Chinese security protocol for wireless Internet access.

"China has promoted the protocol, along with other homegrown technologies like the 3G standard TD-SCDMA, as part of a vision to produce more of its own technology and have it adopted by international companies," the report said. It also noted that the new iPhone, which is just the existing model with wireless Internet, could also support standard Wi-Fi.

The new handset has not yet been released for sale.

The iPhone was first released in China last year on the China Unicom network. The hardware did not have Wi-Fi. The feature was left out because the Chinese government had temporarily banned it in favor of a rival native offering. That ban was relaxed in May 2009, after manufacturing of the iPhone began.

For months, China Unicom is said to have been in talks with Apple to sell the Wi-Fi-enabled phone. Considering many users do not want to rely on expensive data plans for their handset, the addition is considered to be an extremely important move for Apple in the Chinese market.

Apple awarded ownership of iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS designs

Apple this week was granted a patent for the design of the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. Patent No. D615083 was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

While the included images feature all of the buttons and inputs that are standard on the iPhone, the illustrations lack the device's standard home button, also found on the iPod touch and iPad.

In March, Apple secured ownership of another design win for the stainless steel bezel found on the company's handset. The patent noted the design was created through the cold worked stainless steel manufacturing process, which makes it hard and resistant to impacts.