Is Apple’s Next iPhone Partner China Telecom?
Apple may soon have a second iPhone carrier partner in China: China Telecom.
The China Radio Management office, which certifies cellphones for use in the country, has approved an iPhone that appears to be built for China Telecom’s CDMA2000 network.
For some time now, China Telecom has been rumored as one of Apple’s future iPhone partners, so this certification isn’t particularly surprising. Nor is it indicative of an imminent launch. There’s at least one more stop in the device’s regulatory journey. It must receive a license from China’s Telecommunications Equipment and Certification Center before it can be officially sold in the country.
But once that hurdle has been cleared and a deal with Apple officially signed, sales could begin rather quickly, increasing Apple’s addressable iPhone market by China Telecom’s 123 million mobile subscribers. Currently, China Unicom is Apple’s sole iPhone partner in China.
China Telecom did not respond to a request for comment.
CAVEAT: As MacRumors editor Eric Slivka wrote in to point out, while this CDMA-2000-compatible iPhone could cetainly be used on China Telecom’s network, it’s actually the same A1387 world-mode device that’s already headed to China Unicom.