Taste of China Telecom iPhone 4S in March
China Telecom Corp. is about to start carrying the Apple iPhone 4S, making it the second wireless operator in China to offer the latest iPhone. There’s not too much longer to wait either, as the iPhone 4S will come to China Telecom on March 9, news that has seen China Telecom shares rise.
Those wanting the iPhone 4S from China Telecom will get the 16GB iPhone 4S free on a two-year contract by paying a service plan of 389 yuan, around $62, monthly. The price goes down to 289 yuan per month for users who take out a three-year contract. As China has the largest mobile phone market in the world, adding China Telecom as a carrier means that the amount of iPhone buyers who can get a subsidized handset from an operator will almost double. When Apple started selling the iPhone 4S from its own stores in China the sales had to be suspended because of the unprecedented demand but it’s now hoped that with another carrier offering the latest iPhone, this will relieve pressure on the supply bottleneck.
Sandy Shen, a Shanghai-based Gartner Inc. analyst explained, “This is definitely going to give a plus to Apple shipments. On the other hand, China Telecom is still the country’s smallest mobile operator, so the extent to which it can help Apple may be limited,” according to Bloomberg. The news certainly helped China Telecom shares though which saw their biggest rise since last August, closing in Hong Kong at HK$4.60, a 4.1% gain. China Unicom began selling the iPhone 4S in January and Carolyn Wu, an Apple spokeswoman said, “IPhone 4S has been an incredible hit with customers around the world” adding that Apple “can’t wait to get it into the hands of even more customers in China.”
In the fourth quarter Apple shipped 2.08 million handsets to China. This made Apple the fifth-largest smartphone seller in China with Samsung on top followed in order by Nokia Oyj, Huawei and ZTE. Although acquiring the iPhone 4S will provide subscriber growth for China Telecom, initial marketing expenses will bring short-term pressure on profits. Macquarie Group Hong Kong-based analyst Lisa Soh warned that carrying the iPhone 4S would have a negative effect on earnings growth for China Telecom in the initial year saying, “Earnings estimates will have to come down because of higher subsidies for the iPhone.”
With iPhone 4S sales continuing to boom we told yesterday how this could mean that reports of a fall release rather than a summer launch for the iPhone 5 seem more likely to be accurate. All the time the iPhone 4S is selling so well Apple will want to optimize that sales time. According to this article, China Telecom will begin taking orders for the iPhone 4S on March 2.
If you are in China and wish to find out more about the Apple iPhone 4S head to the Apple China website here for full details. What are your thoughts on China Telecom becoming the second carrier in China to offer the iPhone 4S? Let us know with your comments.
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