Shanghai: China Unicom expects to launch the latest version of Apple`s iPhone on the mainland market later this year, state media reported Thursday.
The Chinese company is currently in talks with Apple to finalise details of the launch on its network, the official China Daily reported.
Yu Yingtao, general manager of China Unicom`s sales department, said the company expected to reach agreement with Apple before the fourth quarter, according to the report.
China Unicom officials were not immediately available for comment.
China has had a grey market in Apple products for years to satisfy demand for the iPhone, which only officially went on sale in October -- more than two years after its US launch.
California-based Apple launched the much-anticipated iPhone 4 around the world to much fanfare last week, with fans queueing to get their hands on the new gadget in Japan, Europe and the United States.
It also plans to open mainland China`s second Apple store in Shanghai`s financial zone on July 10, nearly two years after the launch of the Beijing flagship store.