China Telecom, the 3rd largest mobile telecommunication provider in China, is now preparing to introduce the iPhone 5 in late November or early December, which would mark the official launch of Apple’s latest iPhone in China, reports The Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors). The report also points out that China was responsible for 16% of Apple’s total revenue from last quarter that equals to $5.7 billion.
China Telecom and its bigger rival China Unicom Ltd. have both been awaiting government approval to sell the new smartphone, which Apple launched back in September in the U.S. and other regions around the world. China’s largest mobile phone company, China Mobile Ltd., is yet to offer an Apple iPhone.
Government officials haven’t offered guidance on when the iPhone 5 might win final approval. But China Telecom Chairman Wang Xiaochu said Friday in a brief interview on the sidelines of the Communist Party’s 18th Party Congress in Beijing that the phone should be by early December if not sooner.
China Unicom Chairman Chang Xiaobing was less certain. “We hope to offer it this year, but what I say doesn’t matter,” he said on the sidelines of the congress, adding that his company was waiting for the government to grant the remaining licenses for the phone to be released in China.
Apple is expected to introduce the iPhone 5 to at least 100 countries by the end of the year, despite persistent production issues resulting in device shortages around the globe.