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Rumor: China Telecom to Sell iPhone 5 Next Month

The Beijing News, 9/16/11

Several of China Telecom's (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) provincial subsidiaries in southern China have reportedly received notice to begin preparations for sales of Apple's iPhone 5 next month.

According to sources within the provincial subsidiaries, the notices contain details regarding sales staff training and state that pre-orders can be taken as early as the end of this month, with sales expected to begin in October. The sources also revealed that in contrast to the release of the iPhone 4, the China Telecom version of the iPhone 5 devices will be sold separately from personal identity module (PIM) cards. "We received a notice earlier that pre-orders could begin in mid-September," said one source within China Telecom, "but then that date was pushed back."

In addition, photos which appear to have been taken in a Jiangsu Telecom service center have been circulating online. In the photos, a China Telecom LED display screen bears a notice that the iPhone 5 will be imminently released and "China Telecom is waiting to take your orders now."

According to the source within China Telecom, based on subsidies offered by China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) when it released the iPhone 4, China Telecom is currently prepared to spend approximately RMB 1.5 bln in marketing the iPhone 5.

Editor's Note: For more information on this topic, please see "Rumor: China Telecom Prepares to Sell iPhone," MD 9/08/11 issue.

Keywords: 3G China Telecom iPhone marketing wireless Apple 0728.HK CHA handset smartphone subsidy handset model

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