Apple and China Unicom may be finally bringing the long going battle to get the iPhone 3G in China to an end. TMCnews is reporting via Xinhua News that China Unicom has finally confirmed that they will be launching the iPhone on their network on May 17th.
This news would coincide with earlier reports that a Shanghai branch of China Unicom posted iPhone information on their site, but wouldn’t confirm that the device would be available for sale. A spokesperson for China Unicom’s headquarters said they were unsure why the information was posted, but also said that the regional branches operated fairly independently.
China Unicom, along with the world’s largest mobile carrier China Mobile, have been negotiating with Apple for nearly 20 months to get the iPhone in China. Talks have broken down for various reasons, including revenue sharing and control of the App Store. It has been a long, hard struggle for all companies involved and it would be a relief to finally see it all come to a happy ending.
So, is this it? We can’t be certain, but time will tell. According to the latest report, China Unicom will be officially starting their trial operation of commercial 3G service on May 17th, the same day they intend to launch the iPhone 3G. Mark your calendars.