Today, the iPhone finally got through the Great Wall, and can now be purchased in China. iPhone can only be bought with the carrier China Unicom and it’s priced from 4,999 yuan to 6,999 yuan (approximately $730 to $1,025) for the high-end, 32-gigabyte iPhone 3GS, which can be a problem for carrier, China Unicom, because the iPhone can be bought unlocked from the streets for only 5,700 yuan ($835), and actually you’ll get more out of the iPhone, when purchased from merchants, because not only it is cheaper, it also has WiFi availability. No, the iPhone bought from China Unicom does not feature any WiFi connectivity, due to a restriction imposed by the Chinese government. The Associated Press states the reason:
Unicom’s iPhones lack WiFi because it was temporarily banned by Beijing, which was promoting a rival Chinese system, according to BDA. The ban was relaxed in May after manufacturing had begun.
A Unicom spokesman, Yi Difei, said the company hopes to have WiFi in the next batch of phones.
“We are talking with Apple and expect the problem to be solved by the end of this year,” Yi said.
The lack of WiFi connectivity, together with the high price compared to street merchants, can easily be factors that will make the iPhone’s debut at the Chinese market a failure.