An official with China Unicom confirmed the company is in talks with Apple to be the exclusive carrier of the iPhone in the nation of over one billion, but denied a report that the company purchased 5 million iPhones.
Apple has reportedly purchased a number of screens — ranging from 4 inches to 12 inches in size — over the last few years, as it explores its possible entry into the tablet and sub-notebook market, according to a financial analyst.
Reports of regulatory approval of a new model of the iPhone in China seem to confirm that Apple's hardware will appear on the China Unicom network, and also suggest that a new model was created for the country of over 1 billion.
Apple may have finally cleared a hurdle in bringing the iPhone to China as it has reportedly applied for a Network Access License in the Asian country, putting a release just a few months away — albeit without Wi-Fi.
In the tug-of-war that has kept the iPhone out of China in the two years since it's been on the market, China Unicom is purportedly closest to reach a deal but still faces an attack from dominant carrier China Mobile.
Apple executives said this week they believe the iPhone remains in its infancy and went on to — somewhat uncharacteristically — reveal a series of strategic measures they may employ in the near term to help grow the handset's share of the booming smartphone market.