According to a report in the South China Morning Post, China Telecom is making plans to offer the iPhone when China Unicom’s exclusivity deal ends with Apple early next year. The SCMP report cites a research note from a Deutsche Bank analyst who writes,
“Although China Telecom management in a recent lunch meeting refused to confirm whether the company would also begin selling a CDMA iPhone in China next quarter, our own channel checks suggest that the company has been in intensive talks with chipset supplier Qualcomm and Apple to ensure that this [development], indeed, happens,”
If true, this rumor helps to explain the flood of CDMA iPhone rumors that have been surfacing on a regular basis for the past several months. China Telecom is China’s number 3 carrier and, like Verizon Wireless in the US, it operates a CDMA-based wireless network. Millions of CDMA iPhones are reportedly under production and some this inventory may be slated for China Telecom as well as Verizon.
Adding fuel to this already raging firestorm of rumors, J.P. Morgan analyst Mark Moskowitz suggested in a research note released on Thursday that a the CDMA iPhone will land on Verizon in early 2011 and on China Telecom in early to mid-2011. When assessing the validity of this latest CDMA iPhone rumor, remember that the source is an analyst’s research note. While interesting to read, this research note, like many others before it, is an educated guess based upon component orders and leaked information from the supply chain. It may or may not be true.
A China Telecom iPhone would be a big hit in the Asian company. China Telecom confirmed that it sold over 240,000 iPhone 4 handsets in the first few days of sale and is struggling to keep up with demand. Even China Mobile, the largest wireless provider in the world, has asked Apple to offer a version of the iPhone that is compatible with its proprietary TD-SCDMA technology. There is no doubt that the iPhone 4 is hot and a CDMA version is even hotter. Fingers crossed that it all these rumors pan outs and even CDMA customers around the world can rock Apple’s latest smartphone.