Wi-Fi enabled iPhone 3GS Arrives in China Today
It's a big day for the iPhone in China. Although the world's most populous nation has already been introduced to the global phenomenon that is the Apple smartphone, Monday marks the grand arrival of the iPhone 3GS with Wi-Fi.
On Friday, China Unicom revealed that beginning today, the large Chinese telecom operator will introduce an 8-gig iPhone 3GS with Wi-Fi capability. As it stands, both 16 and 32 gig models will also be available, but without Wi-Fi capability.
Before the iPhone was formally rolled out in China last fall, the Chinese government effectively outlawed the IEEE 802.11 Wi-Fi standard as a means for pushing its preferred WAPI standard. This spring, however, China backed away from its stringent policy and soon thereafter the "China-specific" iPhone was on the mass production manufacturing agenda.
Although the iPhone has been slow to resonate with many Chinese consumers, the primary reason has been attributed
to the costs associated with owning the device - both the outright expense of the device and, subsequently, the cost of 3G service. The arrival of WiFi on the iPhone 3GS will all but certainly help push subsequent iPhone sales in China and dramatically increase the device's ubiquity within the country's swelling mobile population.
According to Yahoo News, the WiFi-equipped iPhone "will sell for 4,999 yuan (738 dollars) -- the same price as the model without Wi-Fi." Some customers, however, may get the device for free if they pick up a monthly subscription package "of at least 226 yuan."