After hints China engineers had ‘jailbroken’ the Verizon CDMA iPhone to operate on that nation’s networks, now comes word China Telecom may offer customers the new iPhone as soon as June. A key breathrough appears to be the decision to “burn” subscriber identification onto the unit instead of a SIM card, lacking in the Apple CDMA iPhone.
The iPhone 4 first undergoes testing in Guangdong then will be available to Beijing consumers, according to news agency Xinua, citing unnamed sources. Instead of visiting China Telecom offices, subscribers will be able to activate the handset over the air. Photos of a working CDMA iPhone 4 connected to the carrier’s 3G network were also published.
Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported “the CDMA iPhone has made its first call in China.” The newspaper reported a group of China Telecom employees in Guangdon used the Mac version of the Greenpois0n software to accomplish the task. At the time, the carrier distanced itself from the workers’ activities, announcing the jailbreak was not officially sanctioned.
Echoing the developments, Ticonderoga Securities’ analyst Brian White recently told investors China Telecom had near completion of of a deal with Apple. Talk of when China would receive the CDMA handset has persisted since word leaked that Apple was preparing an iPhone version for Verizon. Wednesday, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster wrote China could provide another 90 million iPhone users.