China Telecom May Launch iPhone 4S by Late February
Following a report from Marbridge Consulting yesterday claiming that sources within China Telecom had revealed that a deal had been struck with Apple for the iPhone 4S, China Daily reports that China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom has confirmed plans for an iPhone 4S release as soon as late February.
In a news release on Monday, Beijing Telecom Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Telecom, said the CDMA-version iPhone 4S is likely to hit the domestic market by the end of February, or at the beginning of March. However, no pricing details were disclosed.
"China Telecom has already started preparatory work for the launch of the iPhone 4S," according to the press release.
With the iPhone 4S being a world-mode device capable of operating on both GSM and CDMA networks, previous regulatory approvals that were required to allow the device to be launched by Apple's long-standing partner carrier China Unicom earlier this month helped pave the way for the device to make its way to China Telecom.
China Telecom currently has over 125 million subscribers on its mobile services, with over 36 million of those on its 3G network as of December 2011, nearly three times the 12 million 3G subscribers the carrier had one year earlier. The addition of China Telecom will leave China Mobile, the world's largest carrier, as the only one of China's three major carriers lacking the iPhone. Efforts on a China Mobile iPhone have been slowed by the carrier's use of TD-SCDMA technology for its 3G network, technology that would require specially-designed iPhone hardware to run on the network.