Apple's dealings in China have been all over the Web lately due to an eye-opening New York Times report blaming Apple for extremely subpar working conditions in its manufacturing plants in southeast Asia. That story has cast, and now there's some more news of a deal to bring the iPhone 4S to China Telecom, China's third largest wireless carrier.
Earlier this week Morgan Stanley's Katy Huberty told investors thatwith China Telecom and China Mobile (China's largest wireless carrier) to bring the next version of the iPhone, which could result in sales in the 40 million unit range.
A new report, however, suggests that a deal between Apple and China Telecom has already been done. Marbridge Consulting (by way of iDownload Blog) claims to have a source inside China Telecom that says the deal is not only done, but China Telecom has begun taking preorders for a CDMA version of the iPhone 4S for government and enterprise customers.
"Yesterday industry sources revealed that China Telecom had already set the initial contract packages, including plans for RMB 89, RMB 129, RMB 159, RMB 189, RMB 289, RMB 389, RMB 489, and RMB 589 per month, among other options. Current plans are to sell the iPhone 4S under contract, and not "naked" (i.e. phones that are not locked to a specific operator). However, the contract packages have yet to be officially confirmed by China Telecom."
The iPhone 4S is expected to be available to the public on China Telecom's network sometime this quarter, according to the report.
On the heels of Apple's well-documented record-setting holiday quarter, this news should be exciting to investors as Apple seems to be taking aggressive steps to back up CEO Tim Cook's recent comments about the importance of the Chinese market for sustaining Apple's future growth.
Is Apple showing any signs of slowing down or does domination of the high-end global smartphone market seem inevitable? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!