Apple, Unicom ink deal on iPhone China sales -paper

SHANGHAI, July 28 Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:29pm EDT

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SHANGHAI, July 28 (Reuters) - China Unicom (0762.HK), one of China's top three mobile carriers, has reached a deal with Apple (AAPL.O) for the exclusive sale of its iPhones in China for three years, the official Shanghai Securities News reported on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for China Unicom had no immediate comment. Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

The paper said the deal did not include revenue sharing arrangements that media reports said had become a sticking point in discussions between Apple and Chinese mobile companies.

The U.S. company insists on a revenue-sharing model with its cellular partners that offer iPhones but media reports have said Beijing objected to them.

Under the agreement, China Unicom will purchase iPhones from Apple for 3,000 yuan ($439) each and guarantee annual sales of 1 million to 2 million units and at least 5 billion yuan in annual revenue, the newspaper said.

China Mobile (0941.HK), China's dominant mobile carrier, was also in talks with Apple to sell the iPhone in China, but the paper said the talks broke down. ($1=6.831 Yuan) (Reporting by Melanie Lee; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

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