Archive for the ‘humour’ Category

Apple & China Unicom receive regulatory approval for iPhone launch

china unicom iphoneGasp … shock … applause, yes, according to tech website Engadget this morning, China Unicom & Apple have managed to get regulatory approval fromChina’s State Radio Regulatory Commission.  As Engadget states :

According to the listing, we’re looking at a GSM / WCDMA cellphone complete with Bluetooth, an internal model number A1324, a little-known manufacturer called “Apple Inc.” and an approval date of May 7th, 2009. We’re also told that the certificate expires in five years, which should give China Unicom plenty of time to capitalize on its reported three-year deal to offer the phone in mainland China.

A copy of that filing can be viewed here : Approvals (luckily for us, Google translate is working well) & here is an image of the actual filing itself :

china-iphone-approval

Engadget goes on to play this down, as there have been a plethora of iPhone / China stories ever since the first iPhone came on the scene two years ago. However, scooting around some telecom pit stops & also some Apple watchers, it would seem that there is real credence in this story. Over at iPhon Asia, Dan Butterfield, a veteran Asian mobile commentator, has been doing our job for us, with a regular stream of articles on the iPhone, here are a couple of lifts from him in the last week in reverse order :

Press reports along with some documentary evidence, suggests that a new model iPhone was submitted to China’s authorities for mandatory “testing” sometime in late Spring. The MIIT’s testing process can take several months to complete. Foot-dragging by the MIIT might help China’s carriers to deploy their own Android-based phones + new WVAS + new mobile operating systemsbefore iPhone is launched.

Multiple reports that Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) will soon begin full production of a custom iPhone for China. This model will not have WiFi (due to WAPI/WiFi issues) but will likely come preloaded with several “for China” apps. Foxconn has given this iPhone a code name – “Model 90.” There is a very high probability that Model 90 is the same “yet to be unveiled” iPhone model (A1324) that China granted (in early June) a Radio Transmission Equipment Type Approval Certificate (RTETAC). China website Tech.QQ has posted a story today about China Unicom’s plans to bring iPhone to China. The report quotes anonymous “informed sources” who claim that Apple and China Unicom have finalized their deal to officially launch iPhone in China. The report does not mention when China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) might grant Apple’s iPhone the required Network Access License (NAL).

China’s Oriental Morning Post is jumping into the iPhone rumor mill. In a report today the Post reveals that China Unicom is in the midst of intense iPhone promotion/distribution planning. The Post reports that the new iPhone model for China will retail for 2,000 CNY ($293 USD) for subscribers who choose a data-plan + multi-year contract. This subsidized price would be 1,000 CNY below the reported (yesterday’s unverified rumor) 3,000 CNY ($440 USD) that China Unicom will pay to Apple for each unit. The Post notes that there will be other plan options that further reduce iPhone’s retail price. The Post sites “Shanghai Unicom*insiders” who provided information on condition of anonymity.

Now, lets go all the way back to the first quote & concentrate on the highlighted text (my addition), Dan reported this regulatory topic back on the 25th July in his post : iPhone in China – “Are we there yet?”

So thanks Engadget for “breaking” some news that was already out there & Big Kudos for Dan for sticking at it & being objective.

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Emerging Idol: Auditions for BRIC Without the “R”

american_idol-judges Today some humour & a guest post from Josh Brown from Reformed Broker …. thanks to Josh for letting us post, you can follow him on Twitter

It may be time to hold auditions to find a replacement for Russia in the BRICcountries.

The other day, the New York Times dropped this delightful little nugget on those believing that Russia is a suitable place to invest:

Russia’s Kemerovo region has notified ArcelorMittal that it will seize two of the world’s largest steel maker’s mines if production levels do not increase, the Siberian region’s government said in a statement.  “If your team is not able to stabilize production at these facilities, then we propose that you hand them over without compensation.”

Nice.  The whole BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) theme may be in need of a makeover as it turns out that the former Soviet Republic is still very much up to it’s old KGB-era strong man routine.

The question becomes, what country could replace Russia that’s got the growth and demographic bona fides but a more conducive business climate for investment?

Let’s hold some auditions, American Idol-style, and see how other emerging economies stack up for membership:

Turkey

Randy: I like what I’m seeing out of Turkey’s National-100 index, a 10.5% advance year-to-date, y’all.  I’d say yes.

Simon: This country has a population of 71 million, two thirds of which are aged 15 to 64…that’s an awful lot of productive workers.

Paula: Yeah but guys, Turkey’s economy is only supposed to show flat growth in 2010.  I’m sorry Turkey, I think you’re great…just not for this competition.

South Africa

Paula: Here’s a perfect example of an exciting country, with a $280 billion economy and booming mineral exports.

Randy: Yes, but a lot of those exports are non-industrial diamonds and gold, not a lot of practical uses for what South Africa produces, man.

Simon: I have to be honest and say that that was one of the most dreadful auditions I’ve ever heard.  And for a supposedly emerging market, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange has barely recovered this year, up only 4% or so.  I’m sorry, South Africa, it’s a No.

Singapore

Randy: Singapore looks like the Real Deal right about now, the Straits Times Index is already up 35% on the year and shows no signs of quitting.  GDP growth for next year is looking like 7 and change percent.

Paula: And didn’t Jimmy Rogers sell his Manhattan townhouse and relocate his whole family there?

Simon: I’m sorry, but I don’t think so.  Singapore is as tied to China as you get, they do about 90 billion a year worth of trade together and have longstanding agreements in place that basically make the two economies inseparable.  I’m going to have to pass on this, we already have enough Chinese representation in BRIC.

Dubai

Randy: I gotta keep it real with this one, Dog.  Aren’t we talking about an economy that’s basically 100% tied to high oil prices?

Simon: I completely agree with Randy, minus some steel exports, that’s exactly like Russia, which we’re trying to replace in BRIC, the last thing we want to do is add it’s mirror image.

Paula: You guys have the Dubai story all wrong, they’ve been redeploying the oil wealth to stimulate other parts of the economy, like the gold-plated Rolls Royce sector, for example.

Australia

Randy: Australia?  I thought this competition was for emerging markets only, y’all.  I know GDP growth for next year is estimated at 6%, but how old are you, Australia?

Paula: You gotta give it up to them, they have a fully developed economy, yet they’re the key supply line to some of the growthiest economies in Asia.  Wait, isgrowthiest a real word?

Simon: For me, it’s a yes.  If we refer to Brazil as the Commodities Supermarketto Chinese growth, then Australia is the Commodities Convenience Store, chock full of metals and minerals, yet right down the street.  And Paula, you should read a book one day.

Peru

Paula:  Look, we all know that the entire economy of Peru is just $127 billion and that’s like 7% of the economy of Brazil.  But I think Peru is going to broaden out.  Just because it doesn’t have a huge population, doesn’t mean it can’t become a big investment theme.  I say Peru deserves a chance.

Randy: It may be small, but it’s growing!  I’m feelin’ the growth!  10% GDP!  Peru, you’re on fire, Dog.  For me it’s a Yes.

Simon: Not to mention a 75% return for the IGBVL stock market so far in 2009, Peru is the very definition of hot.  Congratulations Peru, you’re through to the next round.

Randy: You’re going to Hollywood, Dog!

___

Peru exits ballroom with yellow sheet of paper, vigorously hugs Ryan Seacrestand let’s out celebratory yelp.  Assorted family members wipe tears from eyes.  Cut to Coke commercial.


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