Foxconn, a long-time partner with Apple Inc, is working on the WCDMA standard iPhone models with WiFi and support WAPI, though the first batch of iPhones for China is Wi-Fi-disabled, an insider of iPhone Product Development told CBN news on Wednesday.
We'll have mass production of the WAPI-based iPhone 3G by the end of the year according to the current progress and the scheduled goal, according to the source who declined to be named.
Apple, having been hindered by China's long-standing ban on Wi-Fi in handsets for long time, is finally able to enter the long-anticipated massive Chinese market, with products unitarity all around the world with WAPI.
China finally permitted WiFi, but the government insisted carriers use a special China-only standard known as WAPI (Wireless LAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure). Foreign firms are not allowed to see the full details of this and thus must produce handsets in cooperation with local companies. It's suspected the WAPI system allows the government to exercise some control over which websites are available.
However, Neither China Unicom nor Foxconn would comment on the information. Officials from Foxconn said it wouldn't reveal any information of the client's orders on the principle of confidentiality.
Apple's Chinese iPhone was reportedly sent in July to China Telecommunication Technology Labs (CTTL) of China Academy of Telecom Research, a research institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), for entry-net test.
Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Center (TENAA) under MIIT said on Monday that Apple's iPhone, with an internal model number A1324, has passed the entry-net test.
Probably the second batch of Chinese iPhones will be WIFI-enabled and support WAPI as well, a source close to the senior officials of Foxconn's iPhone product division told CBN news.
Apple shouldn't customize a model of iPhone for the mainland market, given that it only provides a standardized product to operators around the world, Frederick Wong, a BNP Paribas analyst said previously.
As iPhone is a 'net phone', WIFI is too important to be moved from it, a person who has used the smuggled iPhone for one year in China was cited as saying.
He pointed out that the product competitiveness of iPhone comes mainly from its Industry design and mobile internet applications. The smuggled iPhones, which is estimated two million in China, have attracted the Chinese customers as there are intriguing games and software in app stores and cydia.
According to the official from WAPI Industry Alliances, it's not so difficult to add WAPI to the phone as many notebooks produced by Foxconn have been equipped with it.
WiFi cellphones will support WAPI simply by modifying its wireless application protocol (WAP), a senior official from a Chinese handset maker told CBN news.
As China Mobile is launch its Mobile Market as an integral part of its objective to create more competition in the 3G wireless services, China Unicom may be able to find a foothold by bringing the WiFi iPhone into China.