Apple’s iPhone looks set to make its debut on China Telecom after the Cupertino company was granted a vital network access license needed to launch the device. The license is believed to be one of the final hurdles to overcome before the iPhone arrives with China’s third-largest mobile carrier.
China’s Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center previously revealed Apple’s plans for the device when it confirmed that it had approved an iPhone that supports China Telecom’s unique CDMA-2000 network. The approval is said to be a good indication that a launch is imminent, with handsets typically entering the market just weeks after obtaining the relevant licenses.
At things currently stand, Apple’s iPhone is exclusive to China Unicom in China because it does not support China Telecom’s 3G network, despite the iPhone 4S being labeled a “world phone.” However, it seems Apple has modified the device to support the network, in much the same way it modified the iPhone 4 for Verizon, as reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Previous reports have suggested the iPhone will stay exclusive to China Unicom until the Chinese New Year, which takes place on January 23. It’s possible we’ll see its debut on China Telecom during February, bringing in as much as $9 billion in revenue according to some analysts.