“China Telecom Corp Ltd plans to offer its 106 million subscribers the Apple Inc iPhone by the end of 2011, sources said on Wednesday, which would make it the second operator to do so in the world’s largest mobile phone market,” Lee Chyen Yee and Huang Yuntao report for Reuters.
“The move would help China Telecom, the smallest of the country’s three telecommunications operators, cement more high-end 3G users in a competitive market in which handset subsidies offered by carriers are squeezing margins,” Yee and Yuntao report. “China Telecom operates the country’s largest fixed-line network and is a relative newcomer to the mobile market.”
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Yee and Yuntao report, “China has 896 million mobile phone users — bigger than the entire population of Europe. Its three telecommunications operators are China Mobile Ltd, China Unicom and China Telecom. So far, China Unicom is the only operator to offer the iPhone after signing a three-year agreement with Apple in 2009.”
“‘It’s expected to happen this year. China Telecom already has the required technology and it all hinges on the content of the agreement. As we all know, it’s not easy to negotiate with Apple,’ a source close to the company, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters,” Yee and Yuntao report. “China Telecom is expected to introduce the iPhone in November, said another source, declining to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.”
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