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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