Uh oh. What do we have here? It seems that Apple isn’t satisfied with putting their hands all over China Unicom’s massive customer base. Apple is reportedly still talking to China Mobile behind China Unicom’s back. It’s obvious what Apple wants – they want to get their iPhone into as many Chinese wireless networks as possible. That sleazy Apple.
As loose as Apple is being with its iPhone, China Unicom should have seen this coming. Their relationship with Apple is in no way exclusive. That leaves Apple free to gallivant through China, sticking its iPhone wherever it sees fit.
But, Apple still faces some obstacles before getting China Mobile to get friendly with the iPhone. China Mobile uses a homebrew 3G wireless standard that the iPhone is not compatible with. Any China Mobile iPhone would need to be specifically designed for the world’s largest wireless network. Then there’s the issue of the AppStore. China Mobile has already launched their own applications store, which caters to smartphones like the OPhone. The iPhone’s AppStore competes directly.
We’ll keep a close eye on Apple’s shenanigans in China. At least China Unicom can claim to have had the iPhone first. Nobody likes (ahem) seconds.