Brisk activity continues to surround Apple's iPhone, with plans to launch in the Chinese market and rumoured software updates keeping interest high.

Apple's purported plan to introduce a software update for the iPhone, lending extra features to the device failed to materialise across this last weekend, though speculation still favours the notion of a pre-Christmas update, if only to clinch wavering sales.

With the imminence of the shopping season, Apple has also raised the bar on iPhone sales. Customers in Europe and the US can now pick up five iPhones in a single purchase, not two as has been made available so far.

Some reports claim 18 per cent of iPhones sold in the US have not been registered with AT&T, meaning the market for unlocked iPhones remains strong.

Meanwhile plans to introduce iPhone into new territories continue, with weekend reports claiming Apple has reached a deal with Chinese mobile phone retailer, D.Phone that allows for sale of the iPhone, perhaps by February 2008.

That news emerges as continued reports cite that Apple is in negotiation with Chinese mobile network firms, with China Mobile the most voiced candidate.

And in Alaska, a recent AT&T purchase of incumbent mobile network op, Dobson Communications, means users there will be able to pick up an iPhone from 9 December.