China Telecom to sell iPhone 5

China Telecom, one of the country’s three largest telecom operators, has stepped up its pace of launching the iPhone 5. According to a source close to the company, China Telecom is to accept pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone 5 starting late this month, and will officially start selling the iPhone5 in October.

China Telecom has prepared about 1.5 billion yuan of marketing costs for the iPhone 5, after referring to China Unicom’s sales strategy of providing subsidy for the iPhone 4, said corporate insiders. The statistics shows that China Telecom has more mobile subscribers – about 108 million than Verizon of the United States, the world’s largest CDMA operator.

China Unicom is still the only carrier in China that offers Apple’s iPhone series with a service contract. Therefore, the campaign of launching the iPhone5 is believed to help China Telecom cement more users in a competitive market.

Last month, China Unicom discussed with Apple about the introduction of the iPhone 5, but no specific outcome of the negotiation has been announced.

“If we can make a deal with Apple, the handset subsidy for the iPhone would not be greatly raised,”said Chang Xiaobing, China Unicom chairman, at a conference. He also expressed concern over the issue that the iPhone launched by China Telecom will be based on code division multiple access (CDMA) technology.

However, “the population of 3G users only accounts for about 10 percent of the total mobile phone users in China,” Chang said, “so, currently, I am not worried about the competition from the China Telecom will bring an significant influence to the market.”

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