iPhone 4S Launches on China Telecom with 200,000 Pre-Orders
In line with its previous announcement, China Telecom today launched the iPhone 4S, becoming the second carrier in the country to officially offer the iPhone for sale. With its 129 million mobile subscribers, China Telecom is a major new addition for Apple and the largest carrier to offer the iPhone on a CDMA network.
M.I.C. gadget has a roundup of the launch events, with China Telecom having announced a greater-than-expected 200,000 pre-orders for the device.
China Telecom is actually playing Verizon’s iPhone role in China. As far as we know, China Telecom now has close to 130 million subscribers, and the carrier also boasts about having the largest CDMA network in the world by installed base. With over 200,000 pre-orders placed for the iPhone 4S, China Telecom is likely to emerge the victor in a looming iPhone war with China Unicom by offering both better prices and service.
As a CDMA device, the iPhone 4S on China Telecom possesses some of the same limitations seen with the device running on Verizon, including somewhat slower maximum data rates on 3G compared to GSM networks and a lack of support for simultaneous voice and data. China Telecom's iPhone 4S, which ships with iOS 5.1 pre-installed, also requires the use of a micro UIM card. The card is analogous to the micro-SIM card used on GSM devices, although many other CDMA carriers such as Verizon do not use such removable cards and instead rely on subscriber information being stored directly on the device.
China Telecom offers a variety of monthly plans for the iPhone 4S, with the 16 GB model being offered for free on plans as low as 389 yuan ($62) per month for a two-year contract or 289 yuan ($46) per month for a three-year contract.