AppleInsider is supported by its audience and may earn commission as an Amazon Associate and affiliate partner on qualifying purchases. These affiliate partnerships do not influence our editorial content.
The 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.