China Unicom has reached a preliminary agreement with Apple for the exclusive rights to sell the company’s iPhone on the mainland for three years, Reuters reported, citing an unconfirmed report in the official Shanghai Securities News. Both Apple and China Unicom spokespersons refused to confirm the report, only agreeing that discussions are still ongoing. The report said that the deal does not presently include revenue sharing arrangements, which have been a sticking point in negotiations. Apple allegedly insists on a similar revenue-sharing model to the one it uses with its other mobile telecom partners, but media reports have said that Beijing objects to such agreements. Under the agreement described by the Shanghai Securities News, China Unicom will buy iPhones from Apple for US$438 each and guarantee annual sales of 1 to 2 million units per year.
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