“China Telecom Corp. (728), the country’s third-biggest mobile-phone operator by users, posted a gain in profit for the first time since it started selling Apple Inc.’s iPhone in March 2012 as the device helped boost data usage,” Bloomberg News reports. “Net income rose 10 percent to 4.7 billion yuan ($762 million) in the first quarter, the Beijing-based company said in a statement today. That matched the median estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.”

“China Telecom had reported a decline in quarterly profit since Chairman Wang Xiaochu began selling the iPhone on March 9, 2012, in a bid to gain ground from larger wireless carriers China Mobile Ltd. and China Unicom (Hong Kong) Ltd. China Telecom is beginning to benefit from the increase in users of the third-generation service, said Eva Yip, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Sun Hung Kai Financial Ltd.,” Bloomberg News reports. “‘The iPhone helped China Telecom to lure more high-revenue users from competitors,’ Yip said in an e-mail today. ‘The proliferation of smartphones, including the iPhone, is helping stimulate data usage and data revenue.’”

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