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WSJ: iPhone with Wi-Fi lands in China next week

China Unicom will start selling the iPhone with Wi-Fi turned on, according to the Journal's sources at the wireless carrier.

China Unicom will start selling Apple's iPhone with Wi-Fi capability next week, according to a report Thursday in The Wall Street Journal.

The report cites an unnamed China Unicom official.

The iPhone went on sale in Chinain October, but with 3G cellular service only. Chinese regulations don't allow Wi-Fi devices that do not use the country's own wireless standard, called WAPI (Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure). Apple chose to introduce the iPhone, but with Wi-Fi disabled, to get its foot in the door of the Chinese market.

But China Unicom has hinted since early this year that a Wi-Fi iPhone is on the way to its customers. More evidence that the release was imminent came in July when Apple's phone with Wi-Fi capability was granted a network access license in China.

China Unicom officials have also made it known they want to offer the iPad, though Apple does not currently sell the iPad in China.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.