iPhone 5 wins regulatory approval in China

Apple's new phone has cleared one hurdle on its way to gaining access to the lucrative Chinese market, says Chinese blog site Sina Tech.

CNET

The iPhone 5 is now officially certified for China.

Two models of Apple's flagship phone passed 3C (China Compulsory Certificate) certification on Monday, according to Sina Tech.

One goes by the model number A1429, which would be geared for China Unicom's WCDMA network and match up with the Hong Kong version of the iPhone 5, Sina Tech said. The other is model A1442, which would work on China Telecom's CDMA2000 network.

The 3C certification is a mandatory certificate system that inspects and approves various products to be sold in the Chinese market. The iPhone 5 faces two more challenges before it can reach China, says the Next Web. The new phone still requires a network access license and approval from the China Radio Management agency.

Once all is approved, the iPhone 5 could potentially find a home among all three of Chinese's major mobile carriers.

China Unicom plans to start selling the iPhone 5 by the end of the year, while China Telecom said it expects to offer the new phone around the same time.

That leaves just China Mobile.

The carrier has reportedly worked with Apple in the past to offer the iPhone on its network. The iPhone 4S never made it. But a recent teardown of the iPhone by iFixit discovered a Qualcomm modem. That model can talk to networks using TD-SCDMA, the same standard used by China Mobile, reports The Wall Street Journal.

China has grown into a vast market for the mobile phone industry. Out of its 1.3 billion people, more than 1 billion are mobile phone subscribers, according to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. That ratio is actually slightly below the global average but still offers Apple a huge population of potential customers.

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