China is booming, and Apple knows it. While the only official iPhone carrier in China, China Unicom, is offering free iPhones with long-term contracts, a new competitor may be soon entering the market.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, China Telecom, the third largest wireless carrier in China may soon be offering the iPhone on its network. China Unicom is expected to start selling the iPhone 4S this Friday, though the device it'll be peddling won't likely be compatible with China Telecom's network.
The regulatory agency that approves devices for use on Chinese networks confirmed to the WSJ that a device with the model number A1387 was approved for use on the CDMA-2000 network, used by China Telecom.
Of course, this does not ensure that sales will begin immediately for Chinese users, but it is likely that Apple and China Telecom have worked out a deal to bring the iPhone 4S to more potential customers in China. Obviously Apple (and many other technology companies) see China has one of the most important emerging markets for consumer electronics.
The new model (A1387) is also said to work on China Unicom's existing network, giving customers in China a great option for choosing their mobile carrier (previously unavailable with China Unicom as the only iPhone-ready network).
Can Apple secure the iPhone as the No. 1 smartphone in China? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!