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China Mobile Urges for iPhone Lacking 3G and WiFi Support

While China Mobile is expected to launch the iPhone 3G on their network in the near future, if they have their way the device could lose some critical functionality in order to comply with Chinese regulations.

A recent report from the Daiwa Institute of Research notes the possibility that both 3G and WiFi support will be eliminated, drastically diminishing the benefit of the internet savvy device. While 3G support is currently limited throughout, stripping the possibility of its use entirely may not sit well with users.

Calvin Huang, a Dawai analyst has noted that “Taiwan Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is responsible for assembling iPhone products for Apple, is waiting for verification from the mainland to ship the phone without W-CDMA and Wi-Fi function.”

Although Apple has agreed to offer unlocked versions of the iPhone where the law mandates it, they have not yet agreed to stripping components from the device where it may be necessary. There is still no official word as to when the device will arrive in China. Talks have been wavering on and off with China Mobile since the launch of the handset. China Mobile spokeswoman Rainie Lei noted “The talks with Apple to launch the iPhone device in China have resumed because Apple is not insisting on revenue-sharing anymore.”

Overall Apple will more than likely not be thrilled about the possibility of shipping a stripped down version of the device. BNP Paribas analyst, Frederick Wong adds that “Apple shouldn’t customise a model of iPhone for the mainland market, given that it only provides a standardised product to operators around the world.”

With an estimated 28 million potential iPhone users in China there has never been any doubt as to the success the device may see. The Chinese smartphone market has been viewed to be far more entertainment oriented than the US, which has been a major factor in speculating the success it will have.

[via Cellular-News]

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