updated 12:15 pm EST, Sat December 10, 2011
iPhone 4S gets Network Access Permit in China
Chinese iPhone 4S buyers received good news Saturday after it was confirmed that Apple's device had received a Network Access Permit from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology earlier in the week. The clearance will give the HSPA version of the phone approval to run on China Unicom's network. Its version is identical to that available elsewhere save for its support of the China-specific WAPI standard in place of the usual Wi-Fi.
In a conversation with Sohu, China Unicom added that it hoped to have the iPhone 4S on sale before the end of 2011, even with just under three weeks left in the year. It anticipates a 16GB version costing 4,999 yuan off-contract, or a steep $789.
The addition of the most recent iPhone could be vital for Apple, which is still a small player in the Chinese market. Data from EnfoDesk as of the summer had the iPhone at roughly six percent of the smartphone market. While much larger than the BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and most other platforms, it was still well behind Android. Google's platform was almost directly poaching Symbian's share at 58 percent to the Nokia OS' 23. [via MIC Gadget]