China Unicom will announce a deal to sell Apple's iPhone in China as soon as Friday, an analyst said, citing an industry source with direct knowledge of the situation.

A China Unicom spokeswoman said the iPhone would undoubtedly be discussed on Friday when Unicom is set to hold a media briefing to discuss its results for the first half of 2009, but she did not say whether an agreement would be announced.

An official at iPhone maker Hon Hai said the Taiwanese company was making the iconic handset for a Chinese company.

(Reporting by Michael Wei, Kirby Chien and Kelvin Soh; Editing by Chris Lewis)