China Telecom has reportedly finalized its talks with Apple over the iPhone 5 ahead of the smartphone’s debut in China in December. The carrier told reporters that its support for the iPhone 5 is now a “foregone conclusion,” while sources claim it will get the device at the same time as, or possibly even before than, China Unicom.
Both China Telecom and China Unicom are said to be testing the iPhone 5 already ahead of its launch, which Apple has confirmed will take place at the end of the December quarter.
The handset’s journey to China took a big step this week when China’s State Radio Management Agency granted it regulatory approval. Back in September, Apple was also granted the certificate it required to sell the iPhone 5 in China.
The Next Web reports that iPhone subsidies haven’t quite had the right impact on China Telecom’s profits just yet. It helped to contribute to a third-quarter profit drop from $649 million to $601 million year-on-year, despite a 16% increase in sales.
China’s largest carrier, China Mobile, is yet to get the iPhone. But with more than 655 million subscribers, it seems inevitable that Apple will strike a deal with the carrier before too long.