China Telecom, the third largest carrier in China, has begun preparations for the launch of the next-gen iPhone. Rumors that the Chinese carrier would begin offering the iPhone to to its 108.4 million subscribers have been swirling for months now. Currently the only carrier to offer the iPhone in the country is China Unicom.
China Telecom, a CDMA carrier, is larger than Verizon in the US which makes it the largest CDMA carrier in the world. As such, the budget the carrier is rumored to have to market the iPhone 5 is proportionately huge – 1.5 billion yuan ($235 million).
Of course, nothing is certain. But with Apple’s revenue from China shooting up to $3.8 billion for the most recent June quarter, one can only expect Cook and the rest of the Apple team are more than a bit excited to expand their presence in the country. Current rumors put the launch of the iPhone 5 some time in October.