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Apple iPhone 5 coming this year to a trio of China's mobile carriers

Posted: , posted by Alan F.

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Apple iPhone 5 coming this year to a trio of China's mobile carriers
While rumors about the Apple iPhone 5 have been circulating in the States, over in China, two of that nation's mobile carriers are expected to get the Apple iPhone 5 into customers' hands as soon as this quarter.  According to Chinese market analysis firm Caixin, China Unicom and China Telecom will be selling the "new iPhone model... as early as the third quarter of the year,"according to a story reported Friday by Bloomberg. China Mobile, the world's largest mobile carrier, will add Apple's smartphone to its lineup later in the year. The report, attributed to an unidentified person, also says that the Apple iPhone 5 could be sold this quarter in the U.S. as well as in China.

Last month, we reported that Apple COO Tim Cook met with officials of China Mobile in China, to work out details of letting the huge carrier offer the iPhone to its 611 million customers, which accounts for 68% of the country's wireless market. And while the iPhone is not yet available for China Mobile, 4 million Chinese are using its network to run an iPhone unit. China Unicom is the only one of the three carriers currently offering Apple's handset to customers.

To show you how much money is at stake for Apple, if China Telecom, with 107.5 million subscribers, signs a pact with Apple as expected, it could bring $9 billion USD into Apple's coffers. And remember, China Mobile has nearly 4 times the number of customers as China Telecom has.

source: Bloomberg via AppleInsider

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