Reuters are reporting that Apple are moving closer to deal with China Mobile to release the iPhone 3G in the Chinese market. Talks between the two companies have cleared the biggest hurdle, revenue sharing, and are now moving on to logistics questions.
“Apple is no longer insisting on a revenue-sharing policy, so the biggest hurdle for China Mobile to bring in the iPhone has been cleared, but there are practical issues still to be resolved,” said China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei.
Apple has moved to the up front subsidy model in China that they are now using in other iPhone markets. No timetable has been set for the release of the iPhone 3G in China but Apple have said they hope it will be before the end of 2008.
Nothing has been heard from China Unicom since, the rumor at the beginning of June that they had signed a deal with Apple to bring the iPhone 3G to the Chinese market.
The latest murmurings on the web is that both Best Buy and Radio Shack will be offering the iPhone 3G for sale. At this time, it is only a rumor but in light of the recent distribution deals in Germany and Italy it would seem to make sense from a sales point. The more places you can buy the iPhone hopefully the more people who will buy one.
It could be a little late to have them available by July 11 so, it could be later in the summer before we actually see anything in the stores.
A number of companies are now accepting either pre-registrations and sign ups for the iPhone 3G.
South Africa via Vodacom
Portugal via Vodafone
India via Vodafone
Germany via T-mobile
It will be interesting to see at the end of the year just how many iPhones Apple actually sells with all the interest it seems to be generating before it goes on sale.