Thursday, September 05, 2013, 11:48 am PT (02:48 pm ET)
China Telecom, Unicom rumored to offer Apple's new iPhones Sept. 20, China Mobile in Nov.Apple's current carrier partners China Unicom and China Telecom may offer the company's next-generation iPhones as soon as Sept. 20, though a launch on China Mobile is expected to come slightly later, a new rumor claims.
Artist's conception of a possible iPhone 5S. Source: AppleInsider
The details were published on Thursday by Chinese website Sina Tech, and a translation was provided by AppleInsider reader George. According to the report, China Telecom and China Unicom will be the first carriers to offer the next iPhones, and could begin selling the devices as soon as Sept. 20.
But China Mobile will have to wait until November, the report claims, as TD-LTE 4G compatible versions of Apple's next-generation handsets will need to go through regulatory approval. With more than 700 million subscribers, China Mobile is the largest carrier in the world, and a potential deal with Apple has been highly anticipated.
The details reported Thursday align with earlier suggestions that Apple's next iPhones could launch sooner than expected in China. The company has scheduled a media event for Sept. 11 in Beijing where it is expected to introduce the anticipated "iPhone 5S" and "iPhone 5C" to local media.
Thursday's report alleges that the "iPhone 5S" will come in four different colors. Three of those are fairly well known: the existing white and black models, plus a new "champagne" shade of gold. There have also been recent suggestions of a potential graphite shade.
As for the "iPhone 5C," the report claims that new plastic-backed model will come in five colors. Leaked parts have hinted that model will be available in white, red, green, blue, and yellow, though there have also been pink components spotted in the wild.
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