In order to enter the market, Apple agreed to disable wireless internet on models sold in Mainland China
Yet many residents have said they are confident that they can restore the WiFi service on the phones.
A salesman surnamed Li at Beijing’s Zhongguancun electronics market said it was ridiculous that the iPhone had no WiFi capability since it seems central to the phone’s primary service.
He said, “Without it (WiFI), you can’t use it at restaurants and public areas that offer free internet. It will take some time, but I believe we’ll be able to turn on the wireless features.”
Initially, iPhone service will be provided through China Unicom, a state-owned company. The iPhone models are priced between $1,025-1,171 and come with a two-year service contract. The prices are far more expensive than the US version, which start as low as $99.
The National Examiner believes the WiFi will quickly be enabled and the iPhone will be a major success.
Molly Zhang, a PR consultant in Beijing’s Central Business District, said, “Chinese brands can’t compete with electronics from the US or Japan. Not only is the quality perceived as better, these days China is all about brand. Having an iPhone or drinking Starbucks tells other people that you aren’t a farmer.”
Which possibly says a lot more about PR consultants than it does about communications technology.