China Unicom said today that it reached a three-year agreement to sell the Apple 3G and 3GS in China, a deal that not only brings the popular smartphone to the most-populated nation on the planet but also gives the No. 2 wireless carrier a chance to gain market share against the country's No. 1 carrier, China Mobile.
The deal does not include revenue sharing, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
At a news conference in Hong Kong today, the company said it will subsidize the phones, lowering the price for customers, but did not offer pricing details. The deal is expected to raise China Unicom's average revenue per user because the plan requires a more expensive plan for 3G service.
The phones also will enter the China market with the WiFi capabilities blocked, which is required by the government. According to reports, China Unicom has a more advanced 3G service offering over its competitor, No. 1 China Mobile.
In the smartphone game, China Mobile seems to be placing bets elsewhere, including Google's Android mobile OS. The WSJ said that HTC Corp. announced plans to launch seven 3G phone with China Mobile and that at least one would be running Android.
On an earnings conference call with analysts yesterday, Dell confirmed that the company is working with China Mobile “on a small-screen device" but that it would be primarily focused on the enterprise market. Earlier this summer, there was buzz that Dell was eyeing China for a smartphone. China Mobile