News surfaced earlier this Summer that China Telecom would begin carrying the iPhone in 2011. China Telecom boasts over 100 million subscribers – which is more than Verizon – and is China’s third largest carrier behind China Mobile and China Unicom.
Now comes word that China Telecom will carry the iPhone 5 this October and that it’s planning a huge $234 million marketing campaign to help welcome Apple’s fifth-generation iPhone.
Echoing reports about the iPhone 5 launch in the US, China Telecom plans on opening the iPhone 5 up for pre-orders in late September ahead of an assumed launch date in early-mid October.
According to the report, China Telecom had in the first half of 2011 surpasssed Verizon Wireless become the world’s largest CDMA operator, with a total of 108 million subscribers. China Telecom currently has between 13 million and 15 million high-end users, with potential to generate revenue of $8-$9 billion…
According to an unnamed source, China Telecom expects to spend 1.5 billion yuan for the marketing of the iPhone 5 under a plan with the name of “Dragon Plan”.
China is clearly and enticing market for Apple and one which Apple is eagerly looking towards as an impetus for further growth. In addition to China Telecom, Apple is rumored to have struck a deal with China Mobile to bring the iPhone to the largest cell carrier in the world. China Mobile, of course, operates a proprietary TD-SCDMA network and Apple would have to release specialized hardware to get the iPhone up and running there in an official capacity and able to take advantage of 3G speeds.
But rumor has it that an inked deal between China Mobile and Apple is already a done deal and that Steve Jobs, prior to his resignation, had met with top China Mobile executives to hammer out a plan to deliver specialized iPhone hardware to China Mobile.