The iPhone 5 is expected to make its debut in China next month, and that’s looking increasingly likely now that the device has received its third and final license from China’s Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Center (TENAA).
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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.
In December, Apple will launch the iPhone 5 in December, the world’s largest mobile market. Before it can do that, however, the handset needs regulatory approval. Two devices have just been given the go-ahead by China’s State Radio Management, one of which is destined for China Unicom and China Mobile, which the other is headed to China Telecom.
The iPhone 5 is packed with all sorts of neat new hardware internals that Apple has poured their energy and R&D dollars into. Its camera is ridiculously thin, and the processor has been custom designed and manually layed out for maximum efficiency, but there’s another new hardware feature no one’s talking about.
One secret of the iPhone 5 is that it contains a chip that may have been included just so it will work on the world’s largest mobile carrier – China Mobile – giving Apple access to 700 million new potential customers.
China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with over 655 million subscribers, is in talks with Apple to bring the iPhone to its homegrown 3G (TD-SCDMA) network. The carrier’s chairman, Xi Guohua, confirmed the discussions during a shareholders meeting earlier this week.
Apple CEO Tim Cook was in Beijing today, meeting Chinese officials as the Cupertino company eyes up further growth in China. It’s his first trip to the country since he took over from Steve Jobs as CEO, and he got himself noticed with a visit Apple’s Beijing store where he stopped to pose for photographs with fans.
China Telecom has become the second Chinese carrier to offer the iPhone 4S today, ending the exclusivity enjoyed by China Unicom for the last 18 months. The company announced back in February that it would begin selling Apple’s popular smartphone from March 9, and it has taken over 200,000 pre-orders in just the last week.
Apple is yet to strike a deal with China Mobile over the iPhone, but that hasn’t stopped the Cupertino company from supporting China Mobile customers who want to use its latest smartphone with the carrier unofficially. Just a month after Apple confirmed that the iPhone 4S has issues with China Mobile SIM cards, it has fixed the device to eliminate signal issues.
China Telecom and Apple have officially confirmed that the carrier will get the iPhone 4S on March 9th. China Telecom’s 130 million subscribers will have access to Apple’s latest handset for $0 RMB with select carrier contracts. The device will be sold in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB flavors.
Having obtained the licenses necessary to launch its new iPhone 4S on the China Telecom network earlier this month, it was only a matter of time before Apple’s deal with a second Chinese carrier came to fruition. China Telecom subsidiary Beijing Telecom has now issued a press release confirming that it will launch the iPhone 4S from as early as the end of February.