Apple signs a deal with China Telecom, iPhones shipping next month
Despite Apple’s lawsuit with Proview, the company is still forging ahead, making deals with major carriers to bring the iPhone to more Chinese customers. Apple Inc. has signed a deal with China Telecom to bring the iPhone 4S to its customers starting March 2nd (preorders), with sales beginning on March 9th.
China Telecom currently has over 38.7 million mobile subscribers, and analysts are predicting that the company could sell about 1.4 million iPhones this year. The carrier plans to sell the phone on multiple plans, so the price will vary depending on which plan customers decide to pick up. With a two-year, $62 per month contract, customers could walk away with a free 16GB iPhone 4S.
The move to sell iPhones on China Telecom has almost doubled Apple’s market in China. Morgan Stanley analysts believe that China Telecom has more than 15 million “high-end” users who could be potential iPhone users. The company also believes that once Apple signs a deal with China Mobile, the company could quickly see iPhone sales reach 40 million phones per year.
When you consider that Apple sold 13.4 million iPhones last year across the three major networks in the US, it’s pretty obvious that there’s huge potential for the company in China. It looks like the market share wars with Google are just getting warmed up.
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