China Certifies iPhone 5; Just One More License to Go
China’s State Radio Management has approved two versions of the iPhone 5 for use on the country’s wireless networks. The first — the A1429 — is believed to be compatible with China Unicom’s 3G network; the second — the A1442 — is compatible with China Telecom’s CDMA network.
These approvals are the second round of certifications the iPhone 5 needs to be sold in China. The country’s Quality Certification Center approved the device late last night, granting Apple the required certification necessary to sell it. Now Apple needs only a network access license from China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the iPhone 5 will be clear for sale in the world’s most populous country.
It would seem, then, that the device is on track for a Chinese launch in the December quarter, just as Apple CEO Tim Cook promised during the company’s last earnings call on Oct. 25. Good news for Apple, for whom China is becoming an increasingly important source of revenue. Assuming, of course, Apple is able to ramp up production enough to satisfy demand for its latest iPhone in the fast-growing market. Recall that Apple underestimated Chinese demand for the iPhone 4S when it first debuted. Remarking on sales of the 4S in Greater China this past summer, Cook conceded that Apple could have done a better job forecasting that market’s appetite for the device.
“We felt we were betting bold, as I think many of you would have thought if you would have known what we were doing,” Cook said of the 4S rollout plan for the country. “But as it turns out, we didn’t bet high enough.”