Images of Chinese iPhone Surface, Regulatory Approval Granted

Engadget reports that a China-specific iPhone carrying model number A1324 received a five-year approval from China's State Radio Regulatory Commission on May 7th, opening the door for the company to launch the iPhone there. Separately, PC World notes that Chinese news portal Sina.com.cn posted a set of three images (included below) of the new Chinese iPhone earlier today, although it has since replaced the images with a single photo of the rear of the device with text blurred out.

The pictures were posted on Chinese portal Sina.com.cn on Friday morning and showed an iPhone with simplified Chinese characters in its display and inscribed on the back of the handset. Simplified characters are used in mainland China and Singapore, but Singaporean iPhones don't have Chinese inscription on the case. (Hong Kong and Taiwan use more complex traditional characters)

The iPhone in the pictures also carries China's "Environmental Protection Use Period" mark, which indicates the number of years of normal operation during which hazardous or toxic substances included in the product will not leak or change in a way that harms the environment or human health. In the case of the iPhone pictured that length of time is 10 years.

The pulled images depict the Simplified Chinese text on the rear of the device, as well as the device running on China Unicom's 3G network. A deal between Apple and China Unicom, the country's second largest wireless carrier, is reportedly near completion.