Chinese regulators approve WAPI iPhone

Nicole McCormick
13 Jul 2010

Chinese regulators have approved the sale of iPhone devices that incorporate China’s home-grown Wi-Fi standard WAPI.

China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center last week issued a Chinese network access license to an iPhone equipped with WAPI.

The Apple device in question is not the latest iPhone-4, but an older model iPhone, either the 3G or 3GS, based on the device pictured on Tenaa’s website.

The site cited the phone’s WAPI capability but did not reference Wi-Fi.

iPhones sold in China do not currently include WAPI functionality.

Unicom has been working with Apple to convince the Chinese authorities to let Wi-Fi equipped iPhones, which are standard everywhere else in the world, into the country.

Financial services firm CLSA said in a research note that mobile devices in China can only

carry Wi-Fi functionality if they also support WAPI, the home-grown version of Wi-Fi which Chinese authorities say carries stronger security.

The lack of Wi-Fi functionality has been a key reason for Unicom’s disappointing iPhone sales since October last year.


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