China Unicom to sell Apple iPad next month: report

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The Independent Tech

China Unicom is likely to start selling Apple's iPad tablet computer in the world's largest Internet market in mid to late-September, state-run media said Friday.

But the launch of the trendy iPhone 4 is expected to be delayed due to protracted technical procedures to add the handset to Unicom's mobile network, the China Business News reported, citing an unnamed source at Unicom.

Previous Chinese media reports said Unicom, China's second-largest mobile operator, planned to launch the latest iPhone sometime next month.

A spokesman for China Unicom declined to comment on the timetable for the launch of the iPhone 4 and iPad when contacted by AFP on Friday, saying only that the company hoped to start offering the products "as soon as possible".

Apple's latest gadgets have been launched around the world to much fanfare and are already available in China's flourishing grey market for Apple products.

Unicom started distributing the iPhone 3GS model with wireless Internet capability earlier this month, with Apple's Beijing store selling out of the phone on the first day, previous media reports said.

China has a total of 420 million people on the Internet. The country is also the world's largest mobile market, with more than 800 million subscribers as of the end of June, according to official data.

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