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Japan's NTT Docomo, China Telecom said to get next iPhones

The two carriers, which account for millions of subscribers, will have Apple's next iPhone. For one of them, it's for the first time -- according to new reports.

The iPhone 5 launch at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York last year.
The iPhone 5 launch at Apple's Fifth Avenue store in New York last year. Greg Sandoval/CNET

Two large overseas carriers are said to be getting Apple's next iPhones ahead of next week's anticipated unveiling of those devices.

Japan's NTT Docomo, which owns more than half of that country's wireless subscribers, plans to sell Apple's next iPhone for the first time, according to Nikkei (subscription required). Citing sources, the news outlet says the Japanese carrier will begin selling Apple's next iPhone as soon as it's released, following up on a previous report that the devices would go on sale in Japan on September 20.

Apple already sells the iPhone through local carriers SoftBank and KDDI in the country, but has not reached any deals with NTT Docomo. An NTT Docomo executive last week noted that if the carrier were to sell the device, it wouldn't be before September 10, when Apple is holding its media event.

Separately, China Telecom, which already carries the iPhone, may have let slip that it will be in the first group of launch partners. The carrier posted a message noting it will offer the iPhone 5S and 5C, and gave customers an option to pre-order the devices in return for a gift bag. The posting was up briefly before being pulled down, and was spotted by Chinese site TechWeb.

Apple is holding its press event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters, where the company is expected to unveil both devices. CNET will be there to bring you all the news. Stay tuned for more details on how to watch.