It is looking increasingly likely that Apple will soon enter the world’s largest mobile market. According to International Business Times, China Unicom, the nation’s second largest carrier has paid 10 billion Yuan (about $1.46 billion) to buy 5 million iPhones from Apple for a September launch.
That equates to about 2,000 Yuan ($292) per unit and according to a sales manager for a Unicom subsidiary the phones will then be sold presumably unsubsidized for 2,400 Yuan ($350) and 4,800 Yuan ($700) depending on capacity. Responding specifically to the report, an official with China Unicom confirmed the company is in talks with Apple but said the deal is not yet done.
This is to be expected, though, considering Apple has historically demanded that its partners remain silent until they’re ready to let the word out. Regardless of what the situation is, a new GSM/WCDMA model of the iPhone, without Wi-Fi, has already been granted regulatory approval by the Chinese government and is currently awaiting an access license for officially-sanctioned use in the country.