Reuters reports China Telecom, the smallest mobile operator in the country with 17.84 million 3G subscribers as of April 2011, is “in touch” with Apple to get the CDMA version of the iPhone, currently only sold by Verizon Wireless in the United States.
China Telecom Corp Ltd, the smallest of the country’s three wireless carriers, has contacted Apple Inc to introduce the popular iPhone based on CDMA (code division multiple access) technology, Chairman Wang Xiaochu said on Friday.
“We’re not denying that we’re in touch with iPhone (Apple), but I cannot comment on the progress,” Wang told reporters after a shareholders’ meeting.
As the exclusive agreement between Apple and China Unicom, the largest carrier in China, expires later this year, China Telecom is looking forward to revamp its CDMA infrastructure to be able to offer the CDMA iPhone to its subscribers. No additional details have been provided by Reuters in the report, though a rumor posted back in January suggested Apple was on track to ship the CDMA iPhone 4 to China, Japan and Korea during 2011, with international carriers getting a version of the device produced by Pegatron, with Foxconn remaining the sole supplier for the CDMA iPhone to Verizon Wireless in the US. The release of the CDMA iPhone in more countries would certainly help Apple address more market segments and subscriber bases.