Thursday, November 29, 2012, 04:55 am PT (07:55 am ET)
iPhone 5 to see mid-December China debut after Apple's regulatory approvalThe iPhone 5 was awarded a network access license in China, setting Apple's handset up for an anticipated mid-December launch.
The approval of the iPhone 5 was discovered on a regulatory website Thursday by The Wall Street Journal. The models approved by Chinese regulators are WCDMA and CDMA-2000, compatible with China Unicom, the nation's second-largest carrier, and China Telecom, its third-largest.
With the necessary hurdles out of the way, the iPhone 5 is now expected to launch in China in mid-December, according to Engadget. But without a TD-SCDMA model approved, it won't mark the debut of the iPhone on China Mobile, the largest carrier in the world.
The iPhone 5 has been slowly making its way through the Chinese approval process for months. Apple has not given a specific release date, but has said the iPhone 5 will be available in 100 countries on 240 carriers by December.
The iPhone 5 is on sale in Hong Kong, where sales have been brisk. Carriers in China have been anticipating the iPhone 5 launch in mainland China, which has become an increasingly important region for Apple's business.
Market watchers in particular are excited about the potential of a deal between China Mobile and Apple. China Mobile has nearly 700 million subscribers, with 75.6 million of those currently on its high-speed 3G network. Some have speculated that a deal could be reached by early 2013.
On Topic: iPhone
- NXP hopes Apple's adoption of NFC will encourage automakers to use its chips to replace car keys
- Samsung, Apple retain global smartphone lead in Q3 as Xiaomi rockets into third
- Developers of PCalc, Nomi run afoul of Apple's evolving iOS 8 App Store policies
- Constrained supply keeps iPhone 6 Plus resale prices at 124% of retail price
- FTC files suit against AT&T for 'deceptive & unfair data throttling'