Apple Bringing iPhone with WiFi to China After All?
It's starting to appear as though the iPhone's role in China could be about to change dramatically. That's according to some industry analysts who are eager to see if and when the next rumored iPhone release in the world's most populous nation will actually manifest. As we all recall, China received its first version of the iPhone last fall without WiFi capabilities do to the country's restrictive policies regarding unfettered internet access.
At the time, many outside observers were doubtful that WiFi would ever reach the iPhone in China. This came as a great disappointment to those hoping that the iPhone would "open up" the Chinese society more than anything else has in the last half century. To put it bluntly, it was the highest hope of some that the iPhone would somehow spark a new revolution that would ultimately introduce more freedoms than one could possibly envision China providing today.
But if "sources" are to be believed, China Unicom is now working with Apple to introduce a Wi-Fi-enabled iPhone in China, possibly as early as this year.
Adding fuel to the fire of this new rumor is the recent announcement by Apple that the company will initially open two dozen retail stores in China in the very near future. And as the relationship between Apple and China strengthens, so too is the likelihood that the Chinese will ultimately get the full iPhone treatment.
In a nation of more than one billion people, you can imagine how the introduction of a WiFi enabled iPhone could be more than just a game changer. It could also be a "society changer." But we'll reserve judgment on that "eventuality" until WiFi actually reaches the Chinese mainstream through the iPhone - a device only a minute fraction of the Chinese people presently have and can even afford.
Image via iPhoneAsia