In response to media reports this week which stated China Unicom has signed an agreement with Apple to introduce Apple's iPhone into China, a spokesperson from China Unicom says "no comment at the current stage".

However, according to a China Unicom insider quoted by local media, the two companies' negotiation about the introduction of iPhone has gained much progress, though the details are not available.

A delegation led by China Unicom's vice president for mobile communications marketing, Li Gang, went to Apple's U.S. headquarters for a negotiation on March 8 and the delegation returned to Beijing on March 18.

The insider says the two sides have gained major progress in the negotiation, but they have not reached any agreement. There is one thing for sure: the iPhone handsets will not be launched in China on May 17 when China Unicom is due to launch its first batch of WCDMA mobile phone numbers, because even if the two companies decide to introduce the iPhone into China, the companies still need time to purchase the iPhone handsets and test the compatibility between the handsets and the WCDMA network of China Unicom.

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