iPhone 3.0 "ChinaBrick" Reference Connected to China Mobile Demands for Disabling Wi-Fi and 3G?

In a move designed to make even notorious Wi-Fi stripper Verizon seem liberal by comparison, China Mobile's outstanding demand that Apple strip the iPhone of both Wi-Fi and 3G if they want to sell to the worlds largest carrier just got an uncomfortable shot of "maybe" via Apple Insider:

while there's no concrete information to suggest Apple would agree to make such concessions, references to "ChinaBrick" discovered in betas of iPhone Software 3.0 leave room for debate.

Also at issue, China Mobile wants control of the regional App Store. Without 3G or Wi-Fi, would there even be a point?

And we'd joked about AT&T...

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 15 comments. Add yours.

icebike says:

ChinaBrick references usually only included disable of Wifi, not 3g And wifi. http://www.switched.com/tag/chinabrick/
However, it could just as well be a verb, rather than a noun.
The Chinese government may demand a remote bricking function.

P says:

The picture for this blog post is racist. :(

IcemanYVR says:

Hopefully Apple will stand their ground and just say it's not worth it.

Alex says:

What a joke. Bloody demanding Chinese people. ChinaBrick must be a terrible carrier.

Alex says:

Sorry meant China Mobile. Ugh...bad today today.

oneAwake says:

@ P
I would not say it's racist, since China is not a race of people, it's a nationality. Chinese actually have a mixture of, Malayo-Polynesian, Mongoloid, etc. That being said, the photo is highly demeaning and offensive, most Chinese people are not associated with martial-arts. Clueless ignorant people think that way.

Dan Butterfield says:

1) China Mobile is out of the Apple deal for an iPhone 3G
2) China's MIIT approved the first WiFi enabled 3G mobile phone just days ago
3) Apple may (just guessing) have an MIIT approval for a WiFi/WAPI protocol in a made for China iPhone
4) If 3 proves true ... no need to brick WiFi in an official iPhone in China
Background >http://idannyb.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/miit-approves-a-wifi-capable-3g-...http://idannyb.wordpress.com/2009/04/24/china’s-ban-on-wifi-enabled-handsets-needs-to-be-lifted/

iMorePrime says:

The image is not racist. I use Superman for the US, Thor for Scandinavia, etc. It's a heroic cultural icon (and I'm a twice published Chinese martial culture historian)
It's sad that cultural treasures are not only being ignored but now seen in a negative light. Wushu will die in China and that's racist and offensive.
Mo hop/wuxia FTW! Lee Siu-Lung hao fai, hao ging! (Just like the iPhone)

frog says:

I guess the AppStore would still be viable, wouldn't work directly on the phone - which would be a massive negative.

Steve says:

What's really sad is you even having to even explain yourself. The so-called racist/demeaning/offensive accusations from a couple of over-reactive, guilt-ridden people isn't even worthy of a response.
I thought it was quite creative.

Dave says:

Very well/creatively said.
I agree with Steve, and it is also sad how we live in a world where people get "offended" by so many minor details these days...

Jozsoo says:

ChinaBrick... Brick... That rings a bell. Rumors last year before the unibody MacBooks about the mystery Brick. Remember? Maybe ChinaBrick is the new design, an alu iPhone model for China?

SpiceRak2 says:

It was highly responsible of Rene to respond to those allegations of racism.
An iconic historical figure like Bruce Lee provides a universally recognizable, positive and complimentary association while inviting subtle humor in this instance. It would take quite a bit of creative thinking to see this image in another light.

Steve says:

I'm reminded of a reference in a Seinfeld episode where Jerry asks a mailman if he knows of any good Chinese restaurants in the area, but when the mailman turns around it is revealed that he is Chinese and takes offense to Jerry assuming that "honorable Chinaman" must know "rocation of restaurant." When in fact, Jerry just assumed he would know because he's a mailman familiar with the area.
People are often offended because they want to be.

Bela says:

Superman, Thor, Matrix, LOTR and Steve Jobs. What do all these things have in common... waits a nanosecond They are all the best of what they do. I am sure that Bruce Lee would have only been offended that he wasn't already featured and beating down Sauron.
Our cultural icons are something to be proud of not ashamed of.
@ oneAwake :most Chinese people are not associated with martial-arts."
And most Americans can't fly but cant a girl dream.