updated 10:45 am EDT, Mon October 31, 2011
May have to wait until next-gen iPhone
A China Telecom iPhone will probably have to wait until 2012, says UBS' Jinjin Wang. The analyst quotes checks with value chain suppliers, which allegedly point to a launch no earlier than February or March of 2012. The phone could come out as late mid-2012, Wang suggests. If so, the timing could mean that there will be no Telecom iPhone until Apple launches a next-generation device, although that would also assume the company plans to return to a summer release schedule.
The only official Chinese iPhone carrier at the moment is China Unicom. The iPhone 4S, though, is not yet available in China in any form; multiple reports pointed to the prospect of the 4S launching in the region at the same time as the US, but even in a recent 22-country expansion, China was not included. To support China Telecom Apple will have to build another CDMA variant of the iPhone, in the same manner as it has for Sprint and Verizon.