Identified as A1387, a new version of the Apple iPhone
has been discovered by the Wall Street Journal and has received regulatory approval by Chinese officials. The device is said to have been built for China Telecom, the country's third largest carrier. China Telecom uses CDMA-2000 for its 3G service, which is not compatible with the Apple iPhone 4S which will launch Friday in China for China Unicom
. The latter still has an exclusive for the iconic touchscreen phone in the country. China Unicom plans on offering the Apple iPhone 4S for free with a multi-year contract.
It is not known if the A1387 is an Apple iPhone 4S
, an Apple iPhone 4
or an Apple iPhone 3GS
. While Apple sells all three globally at different price points, the fact that the latter runs on GSM pipelines only seems to rule it out as the mysterious model for China Telecom. And while the A1387 has been signed off by China's Radio Management agency, other regulatory approval including a network license may be needed before the phone can launch in the country.
The biggest carrier in the world, China Mobile, has been in talks with Apple for years
, but both sides cannot seem to work out how to handle the carrier's proprietary 3G network
. With 600 million customers using the carrier's network, Apple would love to have a shot at selling the iPhone to such a large audience.