iPhone 5 clears network hurdle on path to China launch

The smartphone was approved for access to the China mobile network by the country's Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center.


Apple's iPhone 5 is one step closer to launching in China.

The China Telecommunication Equipment Certification Center has approved the iPhone 5 for a "network access" license in the country. The license approval was discovered by The Wall Street Journal.

Apple is currently planning to launch the iPhone 5 on China Telecom and China Unicom networks. The company is reportedly hoping to bring the device to China Mobile, the country's largest carrier, but so far no deal has been announced.

Apple's approval comes about a month after another regulatory agency, China's State Radio Management, approved two iPhone 5 models to run on the country's mobile networks. One model supported the China Unicom 3G network, while the other would work on China Telecom's CDMA network.

Now that the iPhone has received its Equipment Certification Center approval, it might not be long before the device ships. In the past, vendors that receive the approval launch their new handsets within a matter of weeks. If Apple follows that schedule, it would launch the iPhone 5 sometime in December.

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