In a recent statement, China Telecom – the third biggest Chinese mobile-handset company, after China Mobile and China Unicom – has revealed that it will get the opportunity to sell the Apple iPhone 4S from March 9; a couple of days after the rumored March 7 announcement date for the iPad 3.
The availability of the iPhone 4S from China Telecom will make it the second mobile-phone company – the other being the current distributor China Unicom - to sell the device in China, the biggest mobile-phone market in the world.
As far as Apple is concerned, the addition of China Telecom as the iPhone distributor will bring about an almost two-fold increase in the number of prospective buyers who will be able to get a subsidized handset from a service operator.
According to the information shared by China telecom, the 16 GB version of the iPhone 4S will be available for free to subscribers who sign up for a two-year contract at 389 yuan (approximately $62) per month. The cost will further come down to 289 yuan (almost $46) per month for subscribers who go in for a three-year contract.
With China Telecom having a strong subscriber base of almost 40 million subscribers for 3G data, and with speculations galore that most of the subscribers will apparently switch to the iPhone, Beijing-based Apple spokeswoman Carolyn Wu said: “IPhone 4S has been an incredible hit with customers around the world. We can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers in China.”