Beijing: The Beijing Telecom Co Ltd., a subsidiary of the country`s third-largest mobile phone operator China Telecom, may launch the CDMA version of the Apple Inc`s iPhone 4S as early as February in the country, it said in a statement.
It will ramp up the pressure on the company`s domestic rivals in the fight to win more subscribers to the third-generation (3G) network service, People`s Daily reported Tuesday.
The company said Monday the CDMA-version (code division multiple access) iPhone 4S is likely to hit the domestic market by the end of February or at the beginning of March. The pricing details were not disclosed.
The company has already started preparatory work for the launch, the statement said.
The iPhone 4S, built for the company`s CDMA2000 network, has already obtained all three required operating licences, the firm said. The CDMA2000 wireless standard is the 3G network technology used by China Telecom.
The China United Network Communications Ltd (China Unicom), the nation`s second-largest wireless carrier, is still the sole operator offering the Apple device on contract.
The iPhone craze has helped the carrier achieve the fastest-growing 3G user numbers in China, with over 40 million subscribers at the end of 2011.
China Telecom had 36.3 million 3G users by that date, compared with 51.2 million for China Mobile Ltd.
For Apple, offering an iPhone compatible with China Telecom`s technology could encourage the use of the device by tens of millions of mobile subscribers. Apple is currently the No.4 smartphone vendor in China, behind Nokia Oyj, Samsung Electronics Co and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., according to the research firm Gartner Inc.