China Telecom to sell CDMA-version iPhone 4S as early as February

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China’s third largest mobile operator China Telecom Corp Ltd has announced that the company may launch  the code division multiple access (CDMA) version of Apple Inc’s iPhone 4S in China next month.

China Telecom, stated that the CDMA-version iPhone 4S is likely to hit the domestic market by the end of February, or at the beginning of March. The pricing details of the device were not disclosed.

“China Telecom has already started preparatory work for the launch of the iPhone 4S,” the company revealed in a press release. .

On Monday, Apple’s CDMA-version iPhone 4S gained the final license, which qualifies the device to be sold in China. China Telecom can present the iPhone 4S as soon as possible, since the device has already obtained all three required operating licenses.

“Now China Telecom is almost ready for everything (to sell iPhone 4S),” said Xiang Ligang, a telecom expert who runs a web portal focusing on the Chinese telecom industry.

China United Network Communications Ltd (China Unicom), China’s second-largest wireless carrier, is still the sole operator offering the Apple device on contract. China Telecom’s launch of the iPhone 4S can help the company boost its 3G subscribers and is likely to put more pressure on the company’s domestic rivals.

Apple is currently the No 4 smartphone vendor in China, lagging behind Nokia Oyj, Samsung Electronics Co and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, according to the research firm Gartner Inc. This deal with China Telecom would help the technology giant garner tens of millions of new users.


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